The psychological, cultural, educational, and economic advantages of bilingualism are well-known. A recent study, published in Child Development, was conducted by Raluca Barac and Ellen Bialystok at York University in Toronto, Canada and adds to the advantages. In their NIH-funded study of 104 six year olds, the bilingual children were able to switch tasks faster than the monolingual students. What does this mean for the teacher of ESL or ELLs? It means that there is another reason to encourage the use of the home language among our students as they learn a second or next language.
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