Judith Kroll thinks so. She’s a psychologist who studies bilingualism and its cognitive consequences at Pennsylvania State University. “A bilingual’s two languages sometimes converge, but often they compete,” she said this weekend during a presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, DC. When I speak Spanish, it’s not an effortless cognitive switch. My brain needs to actively choose Spanish every time I say a word or construct a sentence. Even after years and years of speaking Spanish every day, I can often feel that work happening. It’s tiring, and switching to English can be a relief.
Tell parents to use their heritage language with their babies right from birth and thereafter. Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38653906
Interesting study report at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/opinion/sunday/the-superior-social-skills-of-bilinguals.html?_r=0
One study from my developmental psychology lab — conducted in collaboration with the psychologists Boaz Keysar, Zoe Liberman and Samantha Fan at the University of Chicago, and published last year in the journal Psychological Science — shows that multilingual children can be better at communication than monolingual children.