April 8, 2012

Canadian Study: Multitasking Comes Easier to Bilingual Kids

From http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/253818/lifestyle/wellness/multitasking-comes-easier-to-bilingual-kids-canadian-study

Multitasking comes easier to bilingual kids: Canadian study
April 4, 2012

Children who grow up learning two languages are better at multitasking but slower at building vocabulary than their monolingual peers, two Canadian psychologists have found.

Raluca Barac and Ellen Bialystok tested a total of 104 six-year-old public school children, then compared the results of monolingual anglophones with their Chinese-English, French-English and Spanish-English counterparts.

In a test of their ability to pay attention, plan, organize and strategize, the children were all asked to press a computer button while viewing images of either animals or colors.

They all responded at the same speed when responses were limited to either animals or colors—but when asked to switch from animals to colors only, and press a different button, the bilinguals proved faster at making the changeover.

Testing for verbal ability, Barac and Bialystok found the English monolingual youngsters scored higher for vocabulary, word meaning and grammar than the bilingual children, the institute said.

That was apparently due to the fact that they only had to learn one language, although the Spanish bilinguals—who attended English-language schools—came a close second in vocabulary.

Read the full article at http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/253818/lifestyle/wellness/multitasking-comes-easier-to-bilingual-kids-canadian-study

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