Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 16
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Khadimally, Seda 2019. Technology-Assisted ESL Acquisition and Development for Nontraditional Learners. p. 188.

    Daller, Michael and Ongun, Zehra 2018. The Threshold Hypothesis revisited: Bilingual lexical knowledge and non-verbal IQ development. International Journal of Bilingualism, Vol. 22, Issue. 6, p. 675.

    Klimentová, Eva Dočekal, Vít and Hynková, Kristina 2017. Hearing children of deaf parents – a new social work client group?. European Journal of Social Work, Vol. 20, Issue. 6, p. 846.

    Smith, Adonia K. Andrews, Jean F. Ausbrooks, Melissa Gentry, Mary Anne and Jacobowitz, E. Lynn 2013. A Metalinguistic Awareness Test for ASL/English Bilingual Deaf Children: The TASLA-R. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 4, Issue. 5,

    Berthele, Raphael 2012. The influence of code-mixing and speaker information on perception and assessment of foreign language proficiency: An experimental study. International Journal of Bilingualism, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 453.

    Melby-Lervåg, Monica and Lervåg, Arne 2011. Cross-linguistic transfer of oral language, decoding, phonological awareness and reading comprehension: a meta-analysis of the correlational evidence. Journal of Research in Reading, Vol. 34, Issue. 1, p. 114.

    Adesope, Olusola O. Lavin, Tracy Thompson, Terri and Ungerleider, Charles 2010. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Cognitive Correlates of Bilingualism. Review of Educational Research, Vol. 80, Issue. 2, p. 207.

    Zaunbauer, Anna C. M. and Möller, Jens 2007. Schulleistungen monolingual und immersiv unterrichteter Kinder am Ende des ersten Schuljahres. Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie, Vol. 39, Issue. 3, p. 141.

    Foley, Claire 2007. Review article: Three new complementing second language acquisition textbooks. Second Language Research, Vol. 23, Issue. 3, p. 359.

    Singleton, David and Aronin, Larissa 2007. Multiple Language Learning in the Light of the Theory of Affordances. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, Vol. 1, Issue. 1, p. 83.

    Everatt, John Smythe, Ian Adams, Ewan and Ocampo, Dina 2000. Dyslexia screening measures and bilingualism. Dyslexia, Vol. 6, Issue. 1, p. 42.

    Carey, Stephen 1997. Language Management, Official Bilingualism, and Multiculturalism in Canada. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 17, Issue. , p. 204.

    Gathercole, Virginia C. Mueller 1997. The Linguistic Mass/Count Distinction as an Indicator of Referent Categorization in Monolingual and Bilingual Children. Child Development, Vol. 68, Issue. 5, p. 832.

    Nicoladis, Elena and Genesee, Fred 1996. Word awareness in second language learners and bilingual children. Language Awareness, Vol. 5, Issue. 2, p. 80.

    Parke, Tim 1994. Bilingualism and language awareness in young children. Language Awareness, Vol. 3, Issue. 3-4, p. 209.

    Cummins, Jim 1992. Bilingualism and Second Language Learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 13, Issue. , p. 50.

  • Print publication year: 1991
  • Online publication date: January 2010

8 - Towards an explanatory model of the interaction between bilingualism and cognitive development


During the past twenty years research has shown, with some degree of consistency, that learning a second language in childhood, either by simultaneous acquisition or in the context of bilingual education, is associated with positive cognitive gains. In both bilingual—monolingual comparisons and in studies using “within-bilingual” designs, children's bilingualism is positively related to concept formation, classification, creativity, analogical reasoning, and visual-spatial skills, to name a few (Diaz, 1983; Hakuta, Ferdman, & Diaz, 1987). In addition, as is evident in several chapters of the present volume, bilingual children have demonstrated a particularly refined awareness and control of the objective properties of language, commonly referred to as metalinguistic skills. Ben-Zeev (1977), for example, found that bilingual children approached linguistic tasks with a special sensitivity to language structure and detail. More recently, Bialystok (1986) has shown that children's bilingualism positively affects their increasing ability to solve problems involving high levels of control of linguistic processing.

Even though we have substantial documentation of the cognitive and metalinguistic advantages of childhood bilingualism, an important issue remains unresolved; namely, researchers have not yet developed and tested the validity of an explanatory model of how or why bilingualism has such positive effects. To date, it is not clear, for example, how bilinguals' metalinguistic skills are related to advantages in cognitive abilities not directly related to language, such as classification or visual spatial skills.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Language Processing in Bilingual Children
  • Online ISBN: 9780511620652
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *