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  • Date Submitted: 12/12/2011 12:30 PM
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Cognitive Advantages of a Bilingual Child
In Today’s Society
Ana Elashry
Western Governors University

In the last couple of years raising bilingual children become the thing to do.   However, a couple of years back teaching children a second language would have being looked down upon.   For the most part, because it was believe that bilingualism had a negative impact in a child's cognitive abilities.   On the other hand, recent studies have confirmed that being bilingual is an asset; it not only helps a child’s cognitive development but his or her cultural status as well.   Bilingualism first surface in the early 1900’s when the first wave of bilingual children from immigrant parents was noticed.   Bilingual children were not performing academically at the same level as the monolingual children did.   At that point in time they did not really know why, so their hypothesis was that raising bilingual children had a negative effect in the cognitive development.   Nevertheless, the reason why they were behind monolingual children was primarily because their socioeconomic status was different.   It was not until the 1960’s that researches started to performed studies taking into consideration those factors.   It was then that the myth that being bilingual had negative effects was discarded.   This new wave of research open the idea that bilingualism had a positive effect in the cognitive development of children.   The studies went further to suggest that teaching children a second language is beneficial because it improves concept formation, metalinguistic skills and ability to problem solve.
The speculation that bilingual children have the ability to develop some areas of the cognitive development in more depth have being back up by many studies.   Some of those studies have center around concept formation in bilingual and monolingual children.   According to Diaz (1985), one of the pioneer studies of this subject was performed by Pearl & Lambert in 1962 this pair of...

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