Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-2bgxn Total loading time: 0.372 Render date: 2022-12-03T03:07:39.775Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The effect of bilingualism on cognitive ability: A test of the level of bilingualism hypothesis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Lorna H. Jarvis*
Affiliation:
Hope College
Joseph H. Danks
Affiliation:
Kent State University
William E. Merriman
Affiliation:
Kent State University
*
Department of Psychology, Hope College, Holland, MI 49423

Abstract

Does bilingualism facilitate the development of cognitive abilities, and if so, how? According to the level of bilingualism hypothesis (Diaz, 1983), only in the early stages of second language acquisition does bilingualism foster cognitive ability. This hypothesis was tested on a sample of 3rd and 4th grade Mexican Spanish-English bilinguals with low English proficiency. Knowledge of Spanish and English in phonology, vocabulary, and syntax was measured. Nonverbal general intelligence was assessed with the Raven Colored Progressive Matrices, and verbal intelligence was assessed with a subtest of the Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery. No relationship was found between degree of bilingualism and nonverbal intelligence, contrary to the level of bilingualism hypothesis. The results suggest that the effects of bilingualism on cognitive development are not solely dependent on the level of second language proficiency.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Balkan, L. (1970). Les effets du bilinguisme français-anglais sur les aptitudes intellectuelles. Brussels: AIMAV.Google Scholar
Barca-Lozano, A., Gonzalez-Cabanach, R., Nuñez-Perez, J. C., & Santorum-Paz, R. M. (1990). La estructura cognitiva de los niños bilingües y no bilingües: Un estudio diferencial. Revista de Psicologia General y Aplicada, 43, 97104.Google Scholar
Ben-Zeev, S. (1977). Mechanisms by which childhood bilingualism affects understanding of language and cognitive structures. In Hornby, P. A. (Ed.), Bilingualism: Psychological, social and educational implications (pp. 2955). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
Bialystok, E. (1988). Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Developmental Psychology, 24, 560567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burt, M., Dulay, H., & Hernandez, E. C. (1976). Bilingual syntax measure. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
Cummins, J. (1976). The influence of bilingualism on cognitive growth: A synthesis of research findings and explanatory hypothesis. Working Papers on Bilingualism, 9, 143.Google Scholar
Cummins, J. (1978). Metalinguistic development of children in bilingual education programs: Data from Irish and Canadian Ukrainian-English programs. In Paradis, M. (Ed.), The fourth locus forum (pp. 2940). Columbia, SC: Hornbeam Press.Google Scholar
Darcy, N. T. (1953). A review of the literature on the effects of bilingualism upon the measurement of intelligence. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 82, 2157.Google ScholarPubMed
Darcy, N. T. (1963). Bilingualism and the measurement of intelligence: Review of a decade of research. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 103, 259282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Diaz, R. (1983). Thought and two languages: The impact of bilingualism on cognitive development. In Gordon, E. W. (Ed.), Review of research in education (Vol. 10, pp. 2354). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
Diaz, R. (1985). Bilingual cognitive development: Addressing three gaps in current research. Child Development, 56, 13761388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Diaz, R., & Klinger, C. (1991). Towards an explanatory model of the interaction between bilingualism and cognitive development. In Bialystock, E. (Ed.), Language processing in bilingual children. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Dunn, L. (1965). Peabody picture vocabulary test. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
Galambos, S. J., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1990). The effects of learning two languages on levels of metalinguistic awareness. Cognition, 34, 156.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Goldman, R., & Fristoe, M. (1969). Goldman-Fristoe test of articulation. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
Hakuta, K. (1987). Degree of bilingualism and cognitive ability in mainland Puerto Rican children. Child Development, 58, 13721388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hakuta, K., & Diaz, R. (1985). The relationship between degree of bilingualism and cognitive ability: A critical discussion and some new longitudinal data. In Nelson, K. E. (Ed.), Children's language (Vol. 5, pp. 319344). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Hunt, E. (1974). Quote the Raven? Never more. In Gregg, L. W. (Ed.), Knowledge and cognition (pp. 129157). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Katchan, O. (1986). Early bilingualism: Friend or foe? In Kurcz, I., Shugar, G. W., & Danks, J. H. (Eds.), Knowledge and language. Amsterdam: North Holland.Google Scholar
Leopold, W. (1949). Speech development of a bilingual child: A linguist's record: Vol. 3. Grammar and general problems in the first two years. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
Liedtke, W. W., & Nelson, L. D. (1968). Concept formation and bilingualism. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 14, 225232.Google Scholar
Mackey, W. F. (1962). The description of bilingualism. Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 7, 5185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Macnamara, J. (1967). The bilingual's linguistic performance - A psychological overview. Journal of Social Issues. 23(2), 5877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mattes, L. J. (1987). Spanish articulation measures. Oceanside, CA: Academic Communication Associates.Google Scholar
Murphy, D. (1990). Comparison of scores of bilingual urban and monolingual suburban elementary school children for two measures of intelligence. Psychological Reports, 67, 13751378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Naigles, L. (1990). Children use syntax to learn verb meanings. Journal of Child Language, 17, 357374.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nañez, J. E., Padilla, R. V., & Lopez-Maez, B. (1992). Bilinguality, intelligence, and cognitive information processing. In Padilla, R. V. & Benavides, A. H. (Eds.), Critical perspectives on bilingual education research. Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press.Google Scholar
Peal, E., & Lambert, W. (1962). The relation of bilingualism to intelligence. Psychological Monographs, 76, 123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pinker, S. (1989). Learnability and cognition: The acquisition of argument structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Raven, J. C. (1962). Coloured progressive matrices. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
Ricciardelli, L. (1992). Bilingualism and cognitive development in relation to threshold theory. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 21, 301316.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rosenblum, T., & Pinker, S. (1983). Word magic revisited: Monolingual and bilingual children's understanding of the word-object relationship. Child Development, 54, 773780.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Torrance, E., Gowan, J., Wu, J., & Alliotti, N. (1970). Creative functioning of monolingual and bilingual children in Singapore. Journal of Educational Psychology, 61, 7275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Woodcock, R. W. (1984). Woodcock language proficiency battery. Allen, TX: DLM Teaching Resources.Google Scholar
13
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The effect of bilingualism on cognitive ability: A test of the level of bilingualism hypothesis
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The effect of bilingualism on cognitive ability: A test of the level of bilingualism hypothesis
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The effect of bilingualism on cognitive ability: A test of the level of bilingualism hypothesis
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *