Bilingualism or Monolinguals: Which is Better? Common Facts Revealed
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Bilingualism or Monolinguals: Which is Better? Common Facts Revealed

Ever wonder about bilingualism as a monolingual? There are a wide variety of facts to be revealed.

This semester I was able to take a linguistics class for a full semester. And while it is a tad bit challenging of a class, I find that I have a new found respect for the understanding of bilingualism. There are so many things that people in the United States do not understand about bilinguals that need hard to comprehend about the brain power of bilinguals. There are wide variety misnomers about being bilinguals that can be easily altered with just a little bit of understanding. Here are some facts:

• While English is the primary language in the United States and while many United States children are not required to take another language in America, there are more bilinguals than there are monolinguals. Even people in more impoverished countries are approximately twice as likely to be bilingual than monolingual.

• There are various degrees of bilingualism. The common myth is that you are either a bilingual or not a bilingual. However there are several influences of bilingualism including the level of fluency of languages, learning history and how they speak or write the two varying languages.

• A study conducted by Petitto in 2001 indicated that early bilingualism is not bad for children. The study indicated that children go through the same language milestones regardless of whether or not they are bilingual or monolinguals.

• Bilinguals are more likely to look at the phonology of the language rather than the actual language presented before them.

• Bilingual children are able to discriminate language even as early at 2 months and are able to continue to discriminate language up until 8 months according to a 1988 study by Mehler, Jusczyk and Lamertz. The study indicated that infants of American children have a higher sucking reflex with only English while French children are able to process French, English and Italian words even at 4 days old because they produced a far more expanded sucking reflux.

• Bilinguals utilize this idea of selective activation. This means that 1 language is activated at a time within the brain.

• Bilinguals are more likely to do arthritic in their native tongue rather than using the second language they learned because their first language is their innate language.

After understanding these facts it is safe to conclude that bilinguals are greater at detecting certain cognitive abilities that monolingual speakers cannot do. So next time you are wondering how bilinguals

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