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Educational bilingualism: Reflections on a longitudinal study of children’s cognitive and linguistic development

Chamorro, Gloria, Janke, Vikki (2023) Educational bilingualism: Reflections on a longitudinal study of children’s cognitive and linguistic development. Ampersand, 10 . Article Number 100115. ISSN 2215-0390. (doi:10.1016/j.amper.2023.100115) (KAR id:98667)


Our longitudinal study examined cognitive, social, and vocabulary skills of bilingually-educated, yet monolingually-raised, Spanish children, exploring (a) whether bilingual education procured a bilingual advantage, (b) whether greater L2 exposure was key to producing it, and (c) how development proceeded over time. We compared three groups of children in Years 1 and 2 of primary education in Spain: one attending monolingual education (MON), and two attending English-Spanish bilingual education, where one group received higher exposure (HiEx) and the other lower exposure (LoEx) to English. Children were tested in their schools on cognitive, social, and linguistic skills. In this report, we focus on the cognitive and vocabulary aspects. Across both years, the groups differed in their English vocabulary: HiEx outperformed LoEx and MON (p<0.001), and LoEx outperformed MON (p=0.02) but there were no differences in the children’s L1 vocabulary scores. After one year of schooling, bilingually-educated children scored higher than MON on certain cognitive skills (interference suppression, p<0.001; response inhibition, p=0.02) but these differences did not materialise after a second year. The present paper combines these results from our two previously published studies with other current literature on educational bilingualism into a discussion on how future work on this population could progress.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.amper.2023.100115
Uncontrolled keywords: Bilingualism; Spanish; English; education; child
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Vikki Janke
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2022 09:20 UTC
Last Modified: 31 May 2023 14:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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