This research was supported by Grant R01HD052523 from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to Ellen Bialystok. The color-shape task switching was programmed by Dr. Nicholas Cepeda at York University, Canada.
Bilingual Effects on Cognitive and Linguistic Development: Role of Language, Cultural Background, and Education
Article first published online: 7 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 83, Issue 2, pages 413–422, March/April 2012
How to Cite
Barac, R. and Bialystok, E. (2012), Bilingual Effects on Cognitive and Linguistic Development: Role of Language, Cultural Background, and Education. Child Development, 83: 413–422. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01707.x
- Issue published online: 14 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 7 FEB 2012
A total of 104 six-year-old children belonging to 4 groups (English monolinguals, Chinese-English bilinguals, French-English bilinguals, Spanish-English bilinguals) were compared on 3 verbal tasks and 1 nonverbal executive control task to examine the generality of the bilingual effects on development. Bilingual groups differed in degree of similarity between languages, cultural background, and language of schooling. On the executive control task, all bilingual groups performed similarly and exceeded monolinguals; on the language tasks the best performance was achieved by bilingual children whose language of instruction was the same as the language of testing and whose languages had more overlap. Thus, executive control outcomes for bilingual children are general but performance on verbal tasks is specific to factors in the bilingual experience.