Bilingualism Improve Cognitive Research

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Does Bilingualism Improve Cognitive Functions? Kaining (Michael) Cui Bilingualism has long been an interesting topic in cognitive psychology research. The fact that bilinguals grew up in a unique and different language as well as social environment, potentially has a substantial effect on reading, language perception, ambiguity resolution, and many other language and cognitive process that are beyond language itself. Since the 1960s or even earlier, scientists have been studying the effects of bilingualism on academic, linguistic, and intellectual abilities. They also focused on the potential correlation between bilingualism and cognitive functioning and executive functioning. The various studies and replicating experiments have provided…show more content…
To answer these questions, we have to discuss many research findings specifically. So far, researchers have been focusing on verbal and non-verbal tasks to test the cognitive advantages of bilinguals. Surprisingly, however, bilinguals have little advantage, or perhaps even disadvantages in verbal tasks, as shown in various studies. For instance, in a study done by Bialystok and Craik in 2008, tasks designed to examine working memory, lexical access, and executive control were carried out. In the working memory tasks, they used Forward and Backward Corsi Blocks, which was designed to see how long a sequence of numbers can each participants remember in a short amount of time, and the Self-ordering Painting Task, in which participants were given 12 pages, each with the same12 pictures on random locations of the pages, and were asked to point at one picture on each page when flipping through the book. This was aimed to see how many different pictures that the participants could point to without recurring, thus showing their working memory…show more content…
As a result, younger participants performed better than the older group of participants, confirming the effect of aging on the processes tested; both the bilingual and monolingual groups performed equally on the working memory tasks, suggesting that working memory is unlikely to be effected by bilingualism; and on the lexical access tasks (verbal tasks), monolinguals actually outscored bilinguals in all three tasks, especially in the PPVT task and the Boston Naming Task where there is a significant difference (Bialystok and Craik, 2008). They also found that the bilingual group had a statistically significant advantage on the executive control tasks. In other words, it is actually evident that bilinguals have an advantage in non-verbal

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