New research suggests that children who are fluent in more than two languages are better equipped to learn than children who only speak one language.
The research was carried out on pupils at a primary school in Cambridge. The group included children who were bilingual and those who only spoke one language - they were asked to ‘identify the bad animal’ amongst a range of recorded statements. When another voice was added to the recorded statements, it was found that the children who spoke two or more languages were able to cope better than children who only spoke one. The children who only spoke English were found to be more easily distracted.
The co-author of the research, Dr Roberto Filippi, a senior psychology lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, claims that the findings confirm the importance of children learning a second language as early as possible. He said: "acquisition of two languages in early childhood provides a beneficial effect on cognitive development.” He went on to say that: "The observation that the ability to control interference improves with age, but only within the bilingual group, is a remarkable finding.”
He claimed that due to the high noise levels at primary schools, the ability of children to filter out certain noises is important.
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