Parenting Facts: Studies Reveal That Bilingual Children Are More Intelligent Compared To Their Peers

By Mikheyla Johnson, Parent Herald September 25, 10:44 am

Children who are raised in a bilingual family are said to be more intelligent compared to their peers. A study revealed that babies who were exposed in a bilingual environment enhance their cognitive skills including their problem-solving skills and decision-making skills.

The University of Washington tested 16 babies as part of the study. Half of the participants were from those who exclusively speak English at home. The other half who took part of the studies came from a home with English-Spanish speaking residence.

The babies subjected in the study were then observed as they listed to various sounds of speech, ranging from preverbal to English, which then escalated to Spanish-centered sounds. As the babies listed, the researchers monitored their responses.

Magnetoencephalography was used to monitor the children's responses. It helped the researchers identify which parts of the brain responded by using the electromagnetic activity. It was then revealed that the children who were raised in the English-Spanish household displayed more activities in their prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex compared to the children that were raised in the English-speaking household.

The prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex are parts of the brain that is responsible for the decision-making skills. It also affects the person's problem-solving skills and other cognitive activities.

"Our results suggest that before they even start talking, babies raised in bilingual households are getting practice at tasks related to executive function," lead author Naja Ferjan Ramírez said via press release as reported by the Daily Mail.

"Babies raised listening to two languages seem to stay 'open' to the sounds of novel languages longer than their monolingual peers, which is a good and highly adaptive thing for their brains to do," co-author Patricia Kuhl said in the same release.

A similar study was done by the researchers from Singapore also revealed the same result as reported by Huffington Post. As a parent, would you engage your child in a second language at an early age? Do let us know your thoughts through the comment section below.

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