Bilingual children use as many words as monolingual children when telling a story, and demonstrate high levels of cognitive flexibility, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists.
“We found that the number of words that bilingual children use in their stories is highly correlated with their cognitive flexibility — the ability to switch between thinking about different concepts,” said Elena Nicoladis, lead author and professor in the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Science. “This suggests that bilinguals are adept at using the medium of storytelling.”
Vocabulary is a strong predictor of school achievement, and so is storytelling.
“These results suggest that parents of bilingual children do not need to be concerned about long-term school achievement, said Nicoladis. “In a storytelling context, bilingual kids are able to use this flexibility to convey stories in creative ways.”
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