Bilingualism changes the way a child looks at the world. According to a recent study done by Concordia university in Montreal Quebec.
Bilingualism changes a child’s beliefs about the world. This article I found by Cléa Desjardins talks about the study done by Concordia on Bilingualism. It shows that kids exposed to two languages have different expectations than those who are monolingual.
I have always believed that children learning a second language at a young age not only gain the gift of bilingualism but they learn an even more greater lesson than words…they learn the gift of communication, of tolerance, of seeing the world as a much larger place than their own bubble.
At Langmobile we have some 2,000 students participating in our early childhood educational programs learning French or English or Spanish or Italian. When I was in the class room teaching I saw how this theory of one of the benefits of bilingualism unfolded. The fact is that most young children are essentialists. They believe that the world is not much bigger than their small experience its difficult to image otherwise. Bilingual children however have a broader understanding that human and animal characteristics are not necessarily innate. Bilinguals children show an evolved understanding that things, such as language can be acquired. It makes sense it is with in their ream of experience. They can take that experience and apply it to the world in other situations.
I appreciate studies such as this one done by Krista Byers-Heinliens. The study, forthcoming in Developmental Science, suggests that bilingualism in the preschool years can alter children’s beliefs about the world around them. Contrary to their uni lingual peers, many kids who have been exposed to a second language after age three believe that an individual’s traits arise from experience.
The study has important social implications because adults who hold stronger essentialist beliefs are more likely to endorse stereotypes and prejudiced attitudes. Imagine a world where stereotypes and prejudice attitudes can be a thing of the past by simply introducing your young baby or toddler to the IDEA of another language.