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Discussion

Bilingualism refers to the existence of more than one language together in a system. It is a contrast to the concept of monolingualism. Bilingualism forms the ability of the individual or the community in the use of two languages effectively in a setting, not only the language that is their own. Bilingualism is often a topic of debate and thus the paper will investigate the debate. 

Bilingualism is a debatable concept. It is often considered to be a boon for the people while it might also have cons like the need to study two languages might be challenging for a child. It is also argued that knowing two languages can be helpful for a child in his future professional life. 

The topic of debate in the present paper will be “Bilingualism among children will affect their executive performance”.

Paap, Johnson & Sawi, (2015) conducted a research which analyzed the relation between the bilingual advantages and executive functioning of the individuals who can communicate in two languages. The paper hypothesized for this paper that bilingualism enhances the general executive functioning. The paper stated that more than 80% of the study earlier had resulted in stating that there is null resultant effect of bilingualism on executive functioning. Thus, Paap, Johnson & Sawi in their paper aimed at analyzing the effect that bilingualism has on executive functioning. The paper has concluded that there is a positive relation between bilingualism and  switching costs for young adults. 

Bialystok (2018) in the study has discussed that bilingualism has long been considered to be optional in the educational sector. Thus, the appropriateness of bilingualism for school children remained as a topic of controversy, ever since the foundation of the nation, the US. Thus, the paper has examined the suitability of bilingualism for the specially challenged students. Attention has been given to the socio-economic condition of the students which can act as the confounding variable to the outcomes of bilingual education on the children. The paper has concluded that there is no harmful effect of bilingualism on the educational outcome or achievement of the  specially-abled children. However, the paper has concluded that bilingualism will be beneficial for the children in terms of their educational outcomes.    

Sorge, Toplak & Bialystok, (2017) supported Paap, Johnson & Sawi. There have been limited studies on the relation between bilingualism and attention ability among children, and thus Sorge, Toplak & Bialystok aimed at analyzing the relation. The chosen sample of children has performed the three tasks which would require the children to perform aspects of executive functioning. Sorge, Toplak & Bialystok hypothesized in their paper had stated that Attention difficulty might result in poor performance on executive functioning tasks, but the same task might be improved among children who are bilingual. The paper in support of Paap, Johnson & Saw concluded that bilingualism helps in executive functioning. 

Vangsnes, Söderlund & Blekesaune, (2017) supported the conclusions reached by Bialystok, thereby stating students have shown better results in their national tests than those who are bilingual. Both the studies have taken into consideration that socio-economic conditions might play a role of a confounding variable in the research result conduction process. Thus, Vangsnes, Söderlund & Blekesaune in their result concluded that considering the socio-economic factors constant, bilingualism can improve the academic performance of the children. Vangsnes, Söderlund & Blekesaune have seen bilingualism as an advantage for cognitive development based on the performance in the controlled psychometric experiments among the eight graders. Language of instruction also affects the performance of students in bilingualism. This advantage can be detected in the case of closely related linguistic varieties as well. However, the bilingualism also contributes towards cultural knowledge and diversity.

Methodology

Sharaan, Fletcher?Watson & MacPherson, (2021) suggested that there is evidence that rejects the claims made by Paap, Johnson & Sawi and research conducted by Sorge, Toplak & Bia?ystok. Sharaan, Fletcher?Watson & MacPherson stated that an adverse effect is present of bilingualism on the executive functioning of autistic children. Sharaan, Fletcher?Watson & MacPherson stated that when the autistic children are being instructed by using two different languages on a regular basis, though there have been contrasting conclusions that bilingualism is beneficial, it can also pose challenges to the daily functioning of the austistic children. The paper has analyzed the effect of bilingualism on the executive functioning of Autistic children and thus by analyzing the impact of bilingualism on the flexible switching, working memory, sustained attention, and interference control of the autistic children. The paper concluded that in support of Paap, Johnson & Sawi, bilingualism does not have any adverse effect on the executive functioning of the autistic children.

Montgomery et al., (2021) also conducted an analysis of the impact of bilingualism on the executive functioning of autistic children like Sharaan, Fletcher?Watson & MacPherson. Montgomery et al. stated that exposure to bilingualism in childhood can lead to the development or improvement of their executive functions. The study analyzed the effect of bilingualism on autistic and non-autistic children. Bilingualism was measured by Montgomery et al. on the rate of exposure to bilingualism. In this paper, motor impulses of behavioral control were modulated positively by increasing the student’s exposure to bilingualism. The author partially supported the hypothesis obtained by them. Exposure to bilingualism is beneficial and not detrimental to the autistic children’s development. Autism children suffer from lifelong neurodevelopmental conditions, but their development is benefited by exposure to bilingualism.

Peristeri et al., (2020) also conducted research on the impact of bilingualism on the executive functioning of the children who are suffering from autism spectrum disorders. Bilingualism according to Peristeri et al., in autism enhances the performance outcome when the structure of story-telling is conducted at the micro- and macro level. Peristeri et al. has reached an unique conclusion which was not stated by  Sharaan, S., Fletcher?Watson, S., & MacPhersonor or Montgomery et al. Peristeri et al concluded that bilingualism  They also suggested that bilingualism also helps in improving the  working memory of the autisoc children and in updating their abilities. Peristeri et al by supporting Sharaan, SFletcher?Watson concluded that bilingualism helps in broadening the executive functioning in storytelling of bilingual children compared to monolinguals.

Bilingualism is stated to be resulting in the development of superior executive functioning when compared to the executive functioning of monolinguals. However, Lehtonen et al., (2018) claimed that there is a lack of consensus in terms of the presence of bilingual advantage. Bilingual disadvantages persist at some level when it comes to the discussion on the topic of verbal fluency, as individuals often get limited exposure to both the languages during communication and thus the language which is used more, the individuals tend to get more fluent in that language. This aspect was not concluded by earlier research conducted by Paap, Johnson & Sawi. Lehtonen et al., concluded a contrasting result concluded by Vangsnes, Söderlund & Blekesaune and stated that there is lack of evidence that bilingualism leads to  benefits in cognitive control functions.

The research proposal will use a qualitative research method. Interviews will be conducted of the adults who are now working in different sectors where they are in need of using bilingualism.  Qualitative research methods will be used as the method can be administered on a large number of participants at the same time and it becomes feasible for the researcher to understand the attitude of the participants, (Silverman, (Ed.). 2020). Interview method will help in the development of a large content base and thus, help in the process of understanding the effect of bilingualism on the executive functioning of adults, (Patten & Newhart, 2017). Exposure to bilingualism occurs at an early age and the benefit can be detected at a later age and thus the relation can be examined by conducting a research on the adults tos see the benefit of bilingualism on their executive functioning at this stage of life. The rationale behind using the interview method is that by interview method, the interview and the interviewee can be face-to-face and thus, the non-verbal cues of the respondents will also get exposed to the interviewer and thus the researcher is helped in analyzing the effect of bilingualism on their executive functioning not only through their verbal response but also thetuh their non-verbal cues, (Segun, 2018). Interview method also provides flexibility to the interviewer and will also have better response rate compared to qualitative analysis if the data are to be collected online through mails. The proposed research will take the form of a structured interview method. Interview methods are great tools for screening candidates. It can be used effectively to understand the individual’s qualifications, and skills and thus the benefit of bilingualism on the executive functioning can be effectively analyzed. The interview method can help in the princess to understand if the candidate has what it takes to have higher executive functioning power. 

Every research is conducted with the help of independent variables (IV) and the dependent variable (DV). The dependent variable is the one which is manipulated by the experimenter and the effect of which is analyzed on the independent variable. Much research is conducted to analyze the effect on the children, and thus the proposed paper will be conducted on the adults, (Wilkins, 2018). 

For the present paper, IV: Bilingualism among children 

DV: Executive performance

 References: 

Bialystok, E. (2018). Bilingual education for young children: review of the effects and consequences. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 21(6), 666-679.

Lehtonen, M., Soveri, A., Laine, A., Järvenpää, J., De Bruin, A., & Antfolk, J. (2018). Is bilingualism associated with enhanced executive functioning in adults? A meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 144(4), 394.

Montgomery, L., Chondrogianni, V., Fletcher-Watson, S., Rabagliati, H., Sorace, A., & Davis, R. (2021). Measuring the impact of bilingualism on executive functioning via inhibitory control abilities in autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-14.

Paap, K. R., Johnson, H. A., & Sawi, O. (2015). Bilingual advantages in executive functioning either do not exist or are restricted to very specific and undetermined circumstances. Cortex, 69, 265-278.

Patten, M. L., & Newhart, M. (2017). Understanding research methods: An overview of the essentials. Routledge.

Peristeri, E., Baldimtsi, E., Andreou, M., & Tsimpli, I. M. (2020). The impact of bilingualism on the narrative ability and the executive functions of children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Communication Disorders, 85, 105999.

Segun, S. O. (2018). Yoruba greeting culture: An anthropo-linguistic review. Nile Journal of English Studies, 3(4), 105-117.

Sharaan, S., Fletcher?Watson, S., & MacPherson, S. E. (2021). The impact of bilingualism on the executive functions of autistic children: A study of English–Arabic children. Autism Research, 14(3), 533-544.

Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2020). Qualitative research. sage.

Sorge, G. B., Toplak, M. E., & Bialystok, E. (2017). Interactions between levels of attention ability and levels of bilingualism in children's executive functioning. Developmental science, 20(1), e12408.

Vangsnes, Ø. A., Söderlund, G. B., & Blekesaune, M. (2017). The effect of bidialectal literacy on school achievement. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 20(3), 346-361.

Wilkins, A. S. (2018). To lag or not to lag?: Re-evaluating the use of lagged dependent variables in regression analysis. Political Science Research and Methods, 6(2), 393-411.

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