Effects of Bilingualism in the Development of Children

The paper seeks to look into the various research designs by studying the effects of bilingualism in the development of children. The articles seek to analyze the positive impacts of learning a second language when still young. The research question for the articles is:

Should mothers teach their babies a second language?

The topic of bilingualism on a child's development is of importance as it tries to justifies the need for learning of a second language thus informing the policymakers over the implementation of the learning of second languages in the American curriculum or if there is a need for the parents to take their children through training of an additional language.

            The following articles are used for the comparison of research designs:

Fan, S., Liberman, Z., Keysar, B., " Kinzler, K.D. (2015). The exposure advantage:

Early exposure to a multilingual environment promotes effective communication. Psychological Science, 26, 1090- 1097. Retrieved from:


Type of research design: Experimental design

Crosby, R. " Prescod, R. (2009). Effects of Bilingualism on Cognitive Abilities.

Retrieved from:


Type of research design: the Quasi-experimental design

Nap-Kolholf, M. E. (2010). Second Language Acquisition in Early Childhood: A

  Longitudinal Multiple Case Study of Turkish-Dutch Children.                 https://www.lotpublications.nl/Documents/243_fulltext.pdf

Type of research design: Correlational research design

Research Design: Literature Review

 Fan, Liberman, Keysar, and Kizler (2015) used the experimental research design in the study of the relationship between the acquiring of the second language and how it promotes effective communication. In the research, a sample of 72 children between the ages of 4 and 6 are used. The children used in the study are residents of the Chicago area. From the group, a final sample of 24 children was used. The sample composed of the monolingual group, a group with exposure, and a bilingual group. Mothers of the same number were also taken for the same experiment. To reduce the time for carrying out the research, the parents of the children were asked to identify whether they were monolingual, exposed, or bilingual. The parents helped in the provision of more demographic information regarding the children to save on the time for the experiment. The units of analysis in the research design were the sample of children who were collected for the sake of the experiment. In the study, the independent variable is the distractor. The dependent variable was the participants' accuracy in the giving of instructions as all other factors were kept constant for both groups of participants. The research design was effective in the correlation between bilingualism and communicative abilities. The bilingual children were in a better position to give better direction as compared to their monolingual counterparts. The findings from the research design could be concluded to be reliable as they were in line with previous research data on the topic of research.

            Crosby and Prescod (2009) used the quasi-experimental design in the determination the relationship between bilingualism and the cognitive abilities. The experiment used English-studying Japanese students (G1) and the native-English speakers living in the Ontario city of Canada (G2). The participants were to take part in an Eiken test to help in the determination of their cognitive abilities.  The unit of analysis, in this case, was the students taking part in the test. To reduce the time used for the experiment, the Marty's International Kinder and the Creative Kids Preschool were asked to support in the process. The research method chosen was also not time-consuming. For the G1, the students must have learned Japanese before learning English. The G2 included students who were purely monolingual. The control variable in the experiment was the test which was the same for all the participants. The independent in the case was the different variations in the individuals such as monolingual and bilingual. The dependent variables in the experiment were the score in the tests as all the factors were constant for the experiment. The research design was effective in the experiment as it gave a clear result of the relationship between bilingualism and cognitive development.

 In the research by Nap-Kolhoff (2010), he uses the correlational design or the longitudinal in the analysis of the spontaneous speech among the few participants who are of Turkish origin but are bilingual as they go through the process of learning Dutch. The units of analysis in the design were the individuals. To reduce the time spent in achieving the desired results, a few individuals were sampled to take part in the survey. The dependent variables in the study were the recorded spontaneous speeches among the participants. The independent variables were the various language specifications of the participants. The control variables were the activity of recording spontaneous speeches.


            In the study by Fan, Liberman, Keysar, and Kizler (2015), the sample design was obtained by selecting 24 participants out of the total of 72. Out of the original 72, 7 of them were not able to take part in the test. The final sample of 24 was used to improve the counterbalance. The data for the conclusion was collected through observation of the participants’ abilities in giving the right directions.

            In the study by Crosby and Prescod (2009), the sample was selected by picking students of Japanese origin who were also able to speak English and native English speakers living in Canada. The data was collected from the result of the test taken by the students.

 Nap-Kolhoff (2010) collected the sample by selecting a group of children who were of Turkish origin. The students were to know the Dutch language to proceed with the experiment. The data from the research was obtained from the fluency of the students through spontaneously recorded speeches. 


            The first article has been very instrumental in giving a better insight into the topic of interest. Through the research, it was clear that bilingual had better abilities in communication and thus gave better directions. The article has failed, however, to demonstrate the correlation between efficient skills in communication and cognitive development.

 The second article has been useful in drawing a clear picture of the correlation between bilingualism and cognitive development. The research design used in the article has categorically demonstrated the positive impacts in learning a second language. The article has failed to point out whether the test results were directly correlated to an individual’s cognitive ability.

 The third article has also remarkably drawn a picture of the individual's ability in the learning process of the second language. However, the paper fails to link bilingualism to improved cognitive skills. 


            There is a need for children to be taught a second language when they are still young. Bilingualism has lots of benefits such as improved cognitive development and enhanced communication skills. The available literature on the topic gives insight into future research on the topic. The data so far collected can be used for quantitative and qualitative analysis in future studies. In the future, there should be the focus in the negative impacts of bilingualism in the cognitive development. The deterioration of the first language as a result of learning of a second language should be looked into.

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