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Bilingualism: The Beneficial and Contradictory Findings

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Arifin, Muhammad
Journal: Asian EFL Journal
Volume: 4
Page(s): 48-59
Date: 2016
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10269
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): Bilingualism
Abstract: Historically bilinguals were often associated with low intelligence, high mental confusion, and limited number of vocabularies. In their seminal work Peal and Lambert (1962), however, reported that bilingual children significantly outperformed monolinguals on verbal and nonverbal intelligence tests. This paper first reviews the benefits that bilinguals have when acquiring an additional language. Secondly, the cognitive benefits will be explored, particularly the bilingual advantage in executive functioning (EF), empirically linked with general intelligence and the ability to better cope with brain damage (e.g., dementia) mostly known as “cognitive reserve”. This paper culminates with presenting speculations why some studies report contradictory findings.

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