Study Shows Bilingual Children Have Better Working Memory

Study Shows Bilingual Children Have Better Working MemoryI don’t speak a second language. I know basic French in that I can say simple sentences and read a little bit, but that’s as far as it goes.

My children on the other hand are on their way to  being bilingual. When they started school, we enrolled them into a French Immersion program where their entire day is all done in French. They don’t get English class until grade 2, much like we had French class starting in grade 2.

Both Speed and Raru can speak well in French already. It’s not unusual to hear Speed translate what I’ve said in English into French and I rely on him a lot to help me learn along the way.

We wanted our children to have the benefit of knowing a second language. In Canada, being fluent in French can open a lot of doors for their future and I also believe it really feeds their growing brain.

A new study was just published in the February issue of  which has revealed that being bilingual is also great for the memory.

Researchers from the University of Granada and the University of York in Toronto, Ontario sampled bilingual children between 5 and 7 years of age. The principal investigator of this study, Julia Morales Castillo, of the Department of Experimental Psychology of the University of Granada, says that this study contributes to better understand cognitive development in bilingual and monolingual children, “Other studies have demonstrated that bilingual children are better at planning and cognitive control (i.e. tasks involving ignoring irrelevant information or requiring a dominant response). But, to date, there was no evidence on the influence of bilingualism on the working memory.”

The researchers found that children who are bilingual performed better than monolingual children in working memory tasks and the more complex the task, the better they performed.

:: Do you have a bilingual or monolingual household? ::

Photo credit: photostock
Study: ; February 2013

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