Monolingual vs. Bilingual Children

Bilinguals are affected by there knowledge of a second language in many aspects of life, however there is an emphasis on how bilingualism affects the ability to fully use both languages in life and in school. There is said to be a neural basis behind the structural and functional differences in the brain of a bilingual. The areas in the left hemisphere that are responsible for language production, language comprehension, and non-linguistic tasks are affected in a bilingual. As well as the right hemisphere which are responsible for the attention and control children have in language production/acqusition. Compared to the brain of a monolingual, the differences in a bilingual brain could explain why they are not as proficient in both languages.

Bilingualism both negtively and positively impacts language proficiency in different aspects of communication. Bilinguals are not as proficient in both languages, the knowledge they have of the languages' lexical inventory and syntax is different. Their reading skills are also not equivalent, as well as their ability to write in both languages. However, bilinguals have an advantage over monolinguals when learning a third language.

In addition to language proficiency,due to differences in brain structure, bilinguals have increased cognitive development. Bilinguals are better able to deal with verbal and linguistic abilities, general reasoning concepts, formation of divergent thinking, and metalinguistic skills. Due to bilinguals increased cognitive ability, they experience both advantages and disadvantages in education and school achievement. They are better able to analyze different aspects of language and are at an advantage with academic language skills. However, they are disadvanatged due to their in ability to fully use both languages, specifically in reading and language arts skills.

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