Implications Of Bilingualism In Early Childhood And Academic Development

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Introduction

The purpose of this study is to learn how and to what extent bilingualism in early childhood (from ages 0-5) affects cognitive intelligence later in a person’s life as reflected by the academic performance at the university level. This an important and relevant topic for human development and education as schools are becoming increasingly more diverse, and there are more students from different cultural backgrounds speaking a multitude of languages. Many of these students will have parents who are native speakers of non-English languages who are faced with the dilemma to either teach their child in two languages during early childhood, one being English or raise him or her to speak only one language, English. Assessing whether there are positive or negative correlations between bilingualism in early childhood and academic performance later in life is extremely important as it can test the commonly held belief that raising children to be bilingual can confuse the child. However, it should be noted, today’s parents
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One of these studies from the American Journal of Education is entitled “Bilingual Development and the Education of Bilingual Children during Early Childhood”. The purpose of this study is to analyze how raising a child to be bilingual can affect his or her development. This particular study focuses on how Spanish-speaking children find it difficult to speak English as they prefer to speak Spanish over English at home. It demonstrates how raising a child to be bilingual can be beneficial and have more advantages over monolingual children as long as the child has “balanced proficiency”, which means that the child knows both languages to the same degree. Otherwise, a bilingual child who does not have “balanced proficiency” may be worse off than their monolingual counterparts and may mix words from the two

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