The Pros And Cons Of Bilingualism

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Bilingualism is a term used for children and adults who speak two languages. There are two types of bilingualism: simultaneous and sequential. Simultaneous bilingualism happens when a child is exposed to two languages equally since the day he was born or before age three. Therefore, his knowledge for the two languages is the same. Whereas sequential bilingualism occurs when a person learns a second language, generally at the age of three, and become fluent with it, after having well developed his first native language. Over the years, bilingualism has been a sensitive subject for psycholinguistics, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists because of the positive and negative effects it has on the human brain linguistically and cognitively, as it has been a confusing subject for the parents. First of all, for the advantages, “The Shape Stroop Test”, a study that involved both monolingual and bilingual children, showed that the latest are more capable to concentrate on a significant task or information while ignoring irrelevant ones, which is one of the many cognitive benefits. The study consisted for instance on showing the kids photos of fruits containing smaller ones and they were supposed to spot the smaller fruits. Choosing the smaller fruit is not easy for young children because of the natural instinct to look at the bigger…show more content…
Simultaneous bilingual children on one hand may take more time to start talking but they eventually catch up with the others. On the other hand, sequential acquisition may bring the child to use his “home language” at first, and then pass through a “Silent” Period when exposed to the second language so he might begin to use gestures to communicate. This “Nonverbal” Period might last weeks, even months, depending on the child’s age, until he fully understands the language by initially memorizing and imitating sentences, then produce his
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