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  • Titill er á ensku Bilingualism and Cognition: The role of early bilingualism in the development of executive control and its influence on cognitive abilities
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    The topic of bilingualism and its influence on executive control development is an active field of research. Executive controls are high-level processes that affect an individual's ability to concentrate, shift between tasks and successfully complete various goal-directed performances such as those that support academic achievement. This paper discusses the effect of bilingualism on three primary executive controls, namely inhibition, working memory and cognitive flexibility. With a focus on early bilingualism, this paper reviews several studies on the consequences of early bilingual development on children's executive control. The main findings indicate that early bilingual children outperform monolingual children on tasks such as the Attention Network Task (ANT) and the Dimensional Change Card Sort task (DCCS) as well as other tasks requiring the use of executive control. These studies support the bilingual advantage hypothesis. The hypothesis suggests that bilingual children that have been exposed to two languages from an early age and continued to actively use two languages, develop increased inhibition control and task-switching abilities. Because of conflicting research outcomes in studies on the connection between early bilingual individual's performance on executive control tasks and working memory, this paper focuses mostly on early bilingual's inhibition control and cognitive flexibility. The studies reviewed in this paper presented consistent results regarding bilingual children's performance on tasks involving inhibition control. Inhibition processes, especially the ability to control attention from a distracting stimulus is of focus in this review since it is believed to influence the other two primary executive controls, working memory and cognitive flexibility. The paper examines how the bilingual experience, that is, the maintenance of two languages in the mind and the constant switching from one language to another language influences executive control. The final topic of this paper reviews and discusses how executive control influences individual's goal-directed performances relevant to academic achievement.

  • 18.1.2019

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