The Effects Of Bilingualism On Child Development

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More than half of the world‘s population is bilingual and many researchers are captivated to explore how language and thinking collaborate, that is, what cognitive abilities are affected by bilingualism and to what extent other factors like language proficiency and age of acquisition are predominant. In the early years of a child’s life the development of both speaking and reasoning occurs at an astonishing pace therefore such research has comprehensive implications on child development and education, and offers theoretical and practical benefits to human cognition. Just several decades ago it was widely considered that young chilren should not be exposed to two (or more) languages as this may lead to confusion and slower cognitive development. As a matter of fact, even nowadays many people still believe so. From historical point of view, one prominent study by Pearl and Lambert (1962) has started the rise of a new consideration of the young bilinguals, stating that these children actually outperformed their monolingual peers in a number of verbal and non verbal tests or in other words, bilingualism is an asset for a child. Ever since, the research in this area has broaden its focus beyond the language domain, thus is constantly flowing and becoming more complex. This evolution was summarized in a recent review by Bialystok (2015) - one of the most well-known authors, whose work devotes effort on the effect of bilingualism on children’s language and cognitive development,

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