Sokolova I. V.

Title of the article

Influence of Bilinguism on Socio-Cognitive Per­so­na­lity Development


Sokolova I. V.

Year 2012 Issue №8 Pages  
Type of article   Index UDK   Index BBK  

The paper gives an overeview of foreign studies devoted to bilinguism and its influence on socio-cognitive personality development. Experimental research conducted in the recent years has broken the myth of negative influence of childhood bilinguism. Moreover, based on the comparative analysis, the present research shows the advantages of children and adults grown up in the bilingual environment. Their advantages compared with the monolingual peers include the well-developed meta-lingual abilities and executive functions - executive control, attention, planning, concentration, rejection of inessential information - necessary for fulfilling verbal tasks and activity control.  The paper emphasizes the influence of bilinguism on cognitive decentration, ability to learn foreign languages and develop higher social sensitivity regarding both verbal and non-verbal communication (i.e. interpretation of mimics, gestures, intonations), and more adequate reaction to communicative behavior of surrounding people.

The author concludes that bilinguism stimulates creativity, facilitates divergent thinking necessary for observing a variety of possible solutions and creative ideas development. Bilingual skills broaden children’s mental horizons leaving them more prepared for adult life compared to their monolingual peers.

Download file.pdf
Index terms: bilinguism, cognitive development, executive functions, decentration, bilingual child.

1.  Vygotskij L. S. Thinking and speaking. M.: Labirint, 2001. 368 s. Мыш­ле­ние и речь. М.: Лабиринт, 2001. 368 с.

2. Ben-Zeev S. The influence of bilingualism on cognitive strategy and cognitive development // Child Development. 1977. № 48 (3). Р. 1009–1018.

3. Bialystok E., Craik F. I. M. Cognitive and Linguistic Processing in the Bilingual Mind // Current Directions in Psychological Science. Mar2010. Vol. 19. № 1. Р. 19–23.

4. Genesee F., Boivin I., Nicoladis E. Talking with Strangers: A Study of Bilingual Children’s Communicative Competence // Applied Psycholinguistics. 1996. № 17. Р. 427–442.

5. Ianco-Worrall A. D. Bilingualism and cognitive development // Child Development. 1972. Vol. 43. Issue: 4. Cambridge Univerisity Press.

6. Kovács A. M., Mehler J. Flexible learning of multiple speech structures in bilingual infants // Science. 2009. Jul 31; 325(5940). Р. 611–612.

7. Mechelli A., Crinion J. T., Noppeney U. O’Doherty J., Ash­burner J., Frackowiak R. S., and Price C. J. Neurolinguistics: Structural plasticity in the bilingual brain, 2004. Nature, 431 (757).

8. Petitto L. A., Kovelman I. Petitto, L. A., & Kovelman, I. The Bilingual Paradox: How signing-speaking bilingual children help us to resolve it and teach us about the brain’s mechanisms underlying all language acquisition // Learning Language, Spring 2003. № 8 (3). Р. 5–18.

9. Redlinger W., Park T. Z. Language mixing in young bilinguals // Journal of Child Language. 1980. № 7. Р. 337–352.

10. Sorace A. The more, the merrier: facts and beliefs about the bilingual mind. In S. Della Sala (ed.) Tall Tales about the Mind and the Brain: Separating Fact from Fiction, 193–203. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

11. Taeschner T. The sun is feminine: a study on language acquisition in bilingual children / Traute Taeschner Springer-Verlag, Berlin; New York: 1983.


You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.