In the August 18, 2010 New York Times article Looking for Baby Sitters: Foreign Language a Must, by Jenny Anderson, we learn Dr. Ellen Bialystok, a professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, has found bilingualism may help with cognitive development, but “It doesn’t make kids smarter”.
Highlights of the article include:
- Bilingual children may have a smaller vocabulary in English than monolingual peers, but a larger vocabulary if you include words from both languages
- Bilingual children tend to use simpler vocabulary words
- It may take a bilingual child a fraction of a second longer to access a word
- Bilingual children do better at complex thinking tasks
- Speech therapy may be recommended if there is a delay in verbal language development
- Bilingualism does not help in the competitive Manhattan private school admissions process
- While a nanny can help a child learn a second language, will the child have anyone else to speak the language with?
More information on bilingualism and language delay can be found here.