Essay

Benefits of raising a child bilingual



When you hear about raising a bilingual child, is normal to think about all the difficulties that can appear in the process, but more than that, it is better to start thinking about all the benefits that this method can bring to your child’s life. Diverse studies support the idea that bilingualism is not a distraction or something that implies any disturbance in the mother tongue’s learning process. Moreover, raise a children bilingual brings many cognitive benefits. For example, bilingual brains have better attention and task and also better switching capacities than the monolingual ones. In addition, bilingualism is associated to strong proficiency and high verbal working memory. Also, learn a second language is very helpful for children. It helps them to improve in overall school performance, cognitive development, problem solving and creativity.

According to Marian and Shook (2012), “bilingual brains have better attention and task and also better switching capacities than the monolingual ones”. In addition, the results demolish the thoughts that raising a child bilingual could bring more difficulties in learning than benefits. But actually, researches indicate that people that know two languages are better in tasks that required conflict management. Also Peal and Lambert’s researches in the early 60’s have shown us that bilingual children performed better than the monolingual ones in many examinations and surveys. That marked a precedent and a new perspective about how bilingualism had been seen in the past. So raising a child bilingual is completely recommend nowadays because of the improvements in language, concentration, cognitive development and tasks. Moreover, bilingual children have shown better proficiency in organization and categorization of work.

Secondly, according to Marian, V., & Spivey, M. (2003). “bilingualism is associated to strong proficiency and high verbal working memory” when a bilingualism child speaks, his or her brain works in two languages, this is because when the child is speaking and pronouns a word, the brain activate “codes” to search and co-activate familiar word in both languages, native and foreign, for example if the child says “activity” his or her brain will find words like “act, active, activation, actively, and so on…” On the other hand if the child´s native language is Spanish, the brain will find immediately the word “actividad” This phenomenon opens the possibility that the bilingual child have an extended and varied vocabulary in comparison to a monolingual child.

Bilingualism helps them to improve in overall school performance, cognitive development, problem solving and creativity. With the “stroop task” which is a quick test where the participant have to mention the color of a written word no matter if the word named a different color, for example if the word “red” is colored in yellow, the participant must mention the color yellow which is the color shown in the word, bilingual people do not have problems with this test because they name the color and not the word, this is because bilingual people acquire an ability called “inhibitory control” what means that bilingualism provide the ability to ignore the irrelevant information and focus on the relevant input. (Prior, A., &MacWhinney, B. (2010).A bilingual advantage in task switching. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13(2), 253–262)this helps the child in other activities in his or her school performance provide them with better concentration and focusing them in what is really relevant.


To conclude, we can say that are numerous and significant the benefits that bilingualism can bring into a child life, not only in her or his speaking skills, but also in their concentration, school performance and problem solving skills. In addition to this, bring up a bilingual child is a challenge but not an impossible goal, and even more interesting if you are an English

 teacher.

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In this task, I had been forced to read about what bilingualism is. But, I learnt that is a fascinating discipline that only few people know about.

From the readings I leant how a bilingual child have enormous benefits from raising as bilingual. And how some people have been misunderstood the concept of bilingualism. Those people used to connect the discipline with difficulties in speech, but the researches indicate the contrary.

Bilingualism is an interesting field that needs to be exploited and researched deeply. We have a big opportunity to develop this discipline in favor of education and human development.


16/06/2015