Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

 
News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
 
Category: Family Medicine | Neurology | Pediatrics | Preventive Medicine | News

Back to Health News

Two Languages Better Than One for Kids’ Brains: Study

Last Updated: August 09, 2012.

 

Bilingual children excel at problem-solving, creative thinking, research suggests

Share |

Comments: (0)

Tell-a-Friend

 

  Related
 
Bilingual children excel at problem-solving, creative thinking, research suggests.

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children who speak more than one language seem to have a learning advantage: Being bilingual can improve children's problem-solving skills and creative thinking, a new study suggests.

The mental sharpness needed to switch between two languages may develop skills that boost other types of thinking, explained researchers from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

"Bilingualism is now largely seen as being beneficial to children but there remains a view that it can be confusing, and so potentially detrimental to them," study leader Fraser Lauchlan, a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde's School of Psychological Sciences & Health, said in a university news release. "Our study has found that it can have demonstrable benefits, not only in language but in arithmetic, problem-solving and enabling children to think creatively."

The study involved 121 children roughly 9 years old in Scotland and Sardinia who spoke English or Italian. Of these children, 62 were bilingual and also spoke Gaelic or Sardinian. The children were given set tasks in English or Italian. Specifically, they were asked to reproduce patterns of colored blocks, orally repeat a series of numbers, define words and solve mental math problems.

The bilingual children performed much better on the tasks than those who spoke only one language, the investigators found.

"We also assessed the children's vocabulary, not so much for their knowledge of words as their understanding of them. Again, there was a marked difference in the level of detail and richness in description from the bilingual pupils," said Lauchlan, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Cagliari in Sardinia.

"We also found they had an aptitude for selective attention -- the ability to identify and focus on information which is important, while filtering out what is not -- which could come from the 'code-switching' of thinking in two different languages," Lauchlan added.

The study authors pointed out that the bilingual children who spoke Gaelic performed better than those who spoke Sardinian. They suggested the Gaelic-speaking children may have benefitted from the formal teaching of the language and its extensive literature. In contrast, Sardinian has a largely oral tradition with no standardized form of the language.

The study was released online in advance of print publication in the International Journal of Bilingualism.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on bilingual effects in the brain.

SOURCE: University of Strathclyde, news release, Aug. 3, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Previous: Health Tip: Protect Against Food Poisoning During Pregnancy Next: Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients May Have Higher Risk for Gum Disease

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

 
     

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 

Useful Sites
MediLexicon
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2014
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Advertising
Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.