Bilingualism is defined as The ability of aperson tospeak two language.sBilingualism is becoming more and more common in the modern era. Nearly half of the world’s population,including 18% of U.S. citizens, grows up bilingually. At thestart of 20th century it was considered that if we learn two languagessimultaneously in early life, it can affect cognitive functions and educationalperformance and can cause confusion.
It is the matter of concern for botheducators and parents. In recent years many U.S. states have passed laws outlawingbilingual education in schools. These laws are partly based on the idea thatstudents will have a stronger identity with the school, the culture, and thesocietyif they speak only English, and partly based on that speaking two languages may interferewith cognitive development and functionEarly research inthe field of psychology showedthat, bilingualchildren performed more slowly and sluggishly language in processing, and their verbalscores were very low ascompared to monolingual.
More current research has showed that, althoughbilingual children may in some caseslearn language slower than do monolingual children, both do not significantly differ in thefinal depth of language learning and understanding, nor do theygenerally confuse the two languages.In fact,participants who speak two languages have been found to have bettercognitive functioning, cognitive flexibility, and analytic skills in comparisonto monolinguals has also found that learning asecond language produces changes in the area of the brain in the lefthemisphere that is involved in language,such that this area is denser and contains more neurons. Furthermore, theincreased density is stronger in those individuals who are most proficient in their second language and who learned the secondlanguage earlier. Thus, rather than slowing languagedevelopment, learning a second language seems to increase cognitive abilities.