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Bilingual kids better at math, reading?

Research shows new benefits to growing up speaking two languages.

By Pamela Sitt Feb 22, 2013 3:26PM

As if I needed another reason for mommy guilt, along comes a report that bilingual kids are better at, among other things, math.

If math skills are hereditary, my 18-month-old daughter is going to need all the help she can get. So maybe I should have listened to my nanny when she encouraged me last year to start speaking Korean, my sort-of second language, around the house.

The cognitive benefits of bilingualism have been well documented, but new research shows that it also has a positive impact on working memory, which aids math and reading comprehension.

According to information published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology:

The study included children aged between 5 and 7 years. Researchers found that bilingual children consistently performed better at tasks that need working memory. Also, the more complex the task was, the better bilinguals performed. People with good working memory have higher self-control and ability to keep distractions away.

Speaking of distractions, the fact that I grew up speaking two languages is not making it easier to write this blog with a toddler demanding my attention every five minutes. But it’s not too late for said toddler – research shows kids can reap the benefits of bilingualism if they are speaking two languages daily by age 10.

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47Comments
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The moral of the storey is that California's plan to require the children of immigrants to learn English in the first year of school, instead of being pandered to by providing native language instruction, has extreme benefits for the immigrant.

 

However, the purpose of this 'study' is to show the opposite, that Americans must be taught in foreign languages, because the benefit would be native language instruction to 'immigrant children' so they would not be subjected to the nasty nasty business of learning evil Anglo-Euro language.

Feb 22, 2013 7:18PM
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This is simple. Half of the US speaks Spanish only. All the math testes are in Spanish to be fair and balanced. Since all the questions are in multiple choice English only speaking students can't read the tests and are at a disadvantage. DUH
Feb 22, 2013 7:14PM
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Nowhere in the article does it say that one causes the other. However, it does make sense that kids who are raised bilingual also perform well in math because every language is based on a code like syntax, symbols, phonetic rules, conjugation, ect. and math is also code-based. 
Feb 22, 2013 7:13PM
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Spend time with your childers, teach your kids math and science, do not depend on schools to do it. Often you may have to miss your favourite TV shows to sit with your children - but just do it. I am from Asia and my wife and I always sit with our kids if they need help in homework etc. Of course we miss our TV times ect., but it is for the future of our childern. Since I came to this country, I noticed that this trend is missing in most US families and that is very sad. Parents, sacrifice for your kids and they will make US a better country in the future.
Feb 22, 2013 7:06PM
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Some genious people are not naturally born, they are molded and created in a given environment:

 

If there was no WW2, there was no Robert Oppenheimer

If there was no civil oppression, there was no MLK

If there was no WW1 there was no U2

If there was no Mars, there was no Curiosity

 

Let there be light, E=MC2.  Invest in our education and our children and be ready for Type 1 Civilization.

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PS Europeans speak all the continental languages and have no math superiority!  Nice try!  DREAM ACT...just call your local Traitors Within...free et all...just cross the Mex - US Borders just in time to drop a future heathen breeder via sperm donor exponential from womb to tomb and cry, no mo money...yo soy una eta allla...no estoy un criminal...no other nation has its so called leaderless welcome and continue to reward its invaders then donate them a #Dial#2 for their language without providing their own nation their official language like we have as TREASON WITHIN the USA!

Feb 22, 2013 7:02PM
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In my case it is so true. I speak four languages fluently and I'm an accountant.

However, I would not say that I always loved math, but I was good in it. Love came later in life. Much later.

Feb 22, 2013 7:01PM
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nothing like the internet to read ****......
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