The Academic Advantages of a Bilingual Brain

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Emma Ibanez


Bilingualism in young children has several cognitive benefits that lead to increased academic performance. Between monolingual and bilingual children, behavioral differences can be observed as early as infancy. Studies show that bilingualism influences the development of executive control, which includes cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, memory, and inhibition control. This early cognitive advantage carries into the classroom where skills such as problem solving and adapting to new information are critical for educational success. Learning a second language trains the mind to better recognize linguistic patterns that can be applied to increased reading skill.

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Author Biography

Emma Ibanez, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Emma Ibanez is a senior majoring in MCB with a minor in chemistry. As an undergraduate research assistant in the Rhodes lab, she genetically modifies clownfish for studying socially influenced sex change. Emma also enjoys caring for her plant collection and learning how to play the piano. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for further research in neuroendocrinology.