Bilingual children with different languages and cultures perform better than monolinguals at executive control tasks


One of the cognitive domains that have been studied for bilingual advantages is ‘Executive Control’. Generally speaking, this function refers to a set of processes that have to do, for instance, with attending to one stimulus while suppressing another one. Because bilinguals use similar processes when they have to switch between the languages they speak, it has been thought that they may perform somehow more efficiently at tasks requiring such abilities, even in tasks that do not have to do with language. This study looked at the possible advantage on Executive Control in bilingual children with different language and culture backgrounds: bilingual children in Canada and bilingual children in India. Performance on different Executive Control tasks of these two groups was compared to a monolingual group of Canadian children. The authors showed that both bilingual groups performed similarly to each other and moreover, they were better than the monolingual group in tasks involving Executive Control abilities. These findings show that the specific bilingual advantages looked at in this study occur irrespective of a child’s language and cultural background.  Read full article here or here.