The effects of bilingualism on toddlers’ executive functioning (Study, 2011)

“(Abstract)
Bilingual children have been shown to outperform monolingual children on tasks measuring executive functioning skills. This advantage is usually attributed to bilinguals’ extensive practice in exercising selective attention and cognitive flexibility during language use because both languages are active when one of them is being used. We examined whether this advantage is observed in 24-month-olds who have had much less experience in language production. A battery of executive functioning tasks and the cognitive scale of the Bayley test were administered to 63 monolingual and bilingual children. Native bilingual children performed significantly better than monolingual children on the Stroop task, with no difference between groups on the other tasks, confirming the specificity of bilingual effects to conflict tasks reported in older children. These results demonstrate that bilingual advantages in executive control emerge at an age not previously shown.”

see study in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Diane Poulin-Dubois, Agnes Blaye, Julie Coutya and Ellen Bialystok
(2011).
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
Volume 108, Issue 3, March 2011, Pages 567-579
Special Issue: Executive Function.

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