Bilingual Education: Beneficial for Kindergarten to Catch it Young By M. H 7th December 2012 Abstract: Research has shown that bilingual education has positive effect on kindergarten children. The purpose of this research was to study the benefits of bilingual education, which further helped in recommending marketing campaign for the Canadian kindergarten school to increase enrolments. Several analyses were taken into account like “Simon Task” and core group task to understand the benefits. Study reveals that bilingual children perform better cognitive, analytical tasks and have better success rate than monolingual children.
Keywords: Children, Bilingualism, Kindergarten, Cognitive, Bilingual, Education, Monolingual Page | 1 Introduction This report aims to address positive effects of bilingual education on young children and to provide recommendations to Canadian kindergarten school through marketing campaign to increase kindergarten student enrolment. Different research methodology taken into account in this report, which has been extracted from researches done by PhD students, professors, doctors and scientists to provide evidence on the benefits of learning in two languages.
One of the approaches considered in this report was “Simon Task” conducted by Ioulia Kovelman and Ellen Bialystok, PhD student of York University, Canada. This provides empirical evidence that bilingual kids outperform cognitive tasks than monolingual flock. Moreover, Bilingual children are more creative, intellectual and have longer attention p. Findings 1. 1 Perform Cognitive Tasks Better Several researches were undertaken in the past 20 years; to prove bilingual children are superior to monolingual kids.
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In the recent past, Ioulia Kovelman and Ellen Bialystok, PhD student of York University, Canada evaluated children aged between 4-6 years. During their research, they made two core groups, one group was monolingual who were fluent in their native language . i. e. French or English and another; group was bilingual (with proficiency in both the languages, written and oral). The idea was to test cognitive ability of the core group for which “Simon Task” method was considered. It is a universal method practised by scientists to understand how human mind functions and performs certain tasks.
The aim was to understand how kids respond to different colours and visuals. Hence, kids were asked to separate different shapes as per their colour and size, generated by computer which popped up from different sides of the screen. Results were surprising as bilingual children were more accurate than monolingual group. Study depicts that bilingual brain functions faster and has divergent thinking skills which allows brain to recognize and differentiate different objects at the same time. Therefore, bilingual children tend to be smarter than monolingual peers and perform cognitive tasks better. . 2 More Creative with Analytical Abilities A research conducted by Dr Lauchlan in Scotland and Sardinia, Italy- 121 children under age of 9 were taken in a group with monolingual and bilingual abilities, and were asked to perform different mathematical, creative, linguistic and physical assignments. The emphasis was to evaluate how children respond to different tasks. The bilingual learner’s performance and intellectual capabilities were significantly higher i. e. (52%) than monolingual peers (48%) (Refer figure 1. 2) Page | 2
Figure 1. 2 Pie chart adapted from data provided by Dr Strathclyde research. 1. 3 Greater Success Rate There has been sufficient evidence, which reveals that bilingualism is an asset, as it provides higher employment rates over monolingual person. As stated in 2006 Canadian census, knowledge of French and English provide more job opportunities as compared to knowledge of French or English alone. Refer to the following graph (figure 3. 3) Fi gure 3. 3 Page | 3 It is apparent from the graph that bilingual people have higher job prospects.
This is an era of globalization, where most of the organizations are multinational. Hence, organizations prefer to hire employees who are proficient in different languages and understand diverse cultures. 1. 4 Brain Development “Children who learn a second language before the age of five have been shown to have denser grey matter in their brains than their monolingual peers” (Dai, 2012). According to Cumming (2005) research shows brain has two prominent tissues visible to eyes known as white and grey matter. Source: Mechelli, A. Nature, October 2004; vol 431: p 757.
In 2004 research conducted by Dr Mechelli and his team at University College, London, revealed similar results. During their research they evaluated brains of monolingual and bilingual people who were introduced to second language early in their life. One set of group started learning second language at the age of 2 and another people were introduced to new language at the age of 30. The study reveals, those who initiated learning second language early had better command and proficiency in second language. Furthermore, density of grey matter on the left side of their brain was higher. Grey matter is combination of “head” nerves functions for coordination and communication) Conclusions: It is apparent that children who start learning in two languages at early age have cognitive and linguistic benefits over children who are mono-linguistic. Also, it prepares children for future to get better employment. Diversity comes naturally to bilingual children as it helps them to grow, understand different aspects of life and prepares them to adjust in multicultural environment, as they imbibe certain characteristics during the course of time.
Due to these characteristics it makes children smarter and more confident as they learn in two languages. Page | 4 Recommendations: ? Canadian kindergarten school should work on integrated marketing methodology to lure and educate parents on the benefits of bilingual education. Publicise print ads in newspaper, magazines and different educational websites focusing on curriculum inculcated by school, to ensure their focus is to flourish analytical and cognitive skills of kids while they learn two languages as bilingual kids tend to become sharper day by day. ? School should conduct ducational fairs near school vicinity to provide information and familiarise parents about bilingual education. Especially for a strong economy like Canada where people are expected to speak two languages. When children are introduced to second languages early in their life they learn quickly, master the art of language and become proficient as they are agile and creative. ? Prospective parents should be invited for personal webinar and chat sessions on school website. Prime focus should be on how dual language learning can transform kid’s life in a positive manner as it provides exposure to different culture and diversities.
Perhaps, helps children later in their life for better employment opportunities. ? E-mailers and Direct mailers should be sent to parents emphasizing the fact that a child’s brain grows faster with bilingual education . Also, it builds analytical, mental, linguistic and creative skills by allowing brain to respond to two different languages. Page | 5 References 1. “Bilingual children 'better at problem-solving skills” 2012, Scotland (UK),United Kingdom, Scotland, viewed on 24th Nov 2012, ; http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-19109883; 2. 3.
CummingW(2005),” The capacity of the brain in learning multiple languages”, London Sage Dai, A,2012, It’s a Small World After All from, viewed 23 rd Nov 2012 http://www. thethunderproject. org/its-a-small-world-after-all/#more-1053 4. Genesee, F 2004, ‘What do we know about bilingual education for majority language students? ’, in TK Bhatia & W Ritchie (eds), Handbook of bilingualism and multiculturalism, Blackwell, Malden, pp. 547576. 5. Hitti ,M,2004,”Being Bilingual Boosts Brain Power” MDHelth news, viewed 25 th Nov 2012 6. Lowry ,L, “Are Two Languages Better than One”, The Hanen Centre, viewed 24 th Nov 2012, ; http://www. anen. org/Helpful-Info/Our-Views-on-the-News/Are-Two-Languages-Better-Than-One. aspx; 7. “Language Learning and the Developing Brain” (1996, winter). Learning Languages, 1 (2), 17. 8. MarianV, Faroqi-Shah, Y, Kaushanskaya,M, H. K & & Sheng,L. 2009, “Bilingualism: Consequences for Language, Cognition, Development, and the Brain”, Asha Leader, vol. 14, no. 13,pp. 10-13, viewed 20th Nov 2012. 9. Mechelli, A. Nature, October 2004; vol 431: p 757 10. “The advantages of bilingualism in Canada” 2008, Canadian council on learning, viewed on 25 th Nov2012, Page | 6
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