Bilingualism and Cognitive Ability

Topics: Language, Second language, Multilingualism Pages: 3 (985 words) Published: June 17, 2012
Due to the extensive body of research that has been conducted on the effects in which bilingualism can have on cognitive ability, various studies have evidently suggested that children who learn a second language attain higher scores in regards to performance in various tasks throughout their development. One study in particular, conducted by Bonifacci, Giombini, Bellocchi and Contento (2011), identified that bilingual and monolingual children did not differ from each other in elementary cognition tasks (reaction time, a go ⁄ no-go and two working memory), however, in anticipation tasks it was evident that bilinguals were found to be faster and more accurate. The importance of research and study into the area of bilingualism and cognitive ability is also emphasized by many academics due to the controversy and conflicting results between monolingual and bilingual ability that is highlighted from researchers such as Rosenblum and Pinker (1983).

A more recent study that has reiterated this, conducted by Salvatierra and Rosselli (2010), titled ‘The effect of bilingualism and age on inhibitory control’ intended to determine the effectiveness that mastering two languages may have on the results in which older adults receive on inhibitory control tasks. From this, it was further hypothesized in this study that the results would indicate that bilingual participants would score higher on the tasks than would the monolinguals. Participants of this study were allocated into two groups based on their age and proficiency in either one or two languages. Monolinguals (N= 108) and bilinguals (N=125) participants each were required to partake in an assessment with certain marking criteria to ensure that all participants were equal in regards to non-verbal cognitive capacities. The researchers of this study did not disclose the gender of the participants. It should also be noted that a greater sample size was used than in other studies that were conducted in the past to...
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