Switching from one language to another while in a conversation can help children in problem solving and enhance creativity, researchers have claimed.
Researchers from the University of Strathclyde in the UK claim that bilingual children outperform children who speak only one language in problem-solving skills and creative thinking.
“Our study has found that it can have demonstrable benefits, not only in language but in arithmetic, problem solving and enabling children to think creatively,” lead author Dr Fraser Lauchlan said.
The study conducted with 121 children in Scotland and Sardinia- 62 of them bilingual- were set tasks in which they were asked to reproduce patterns of coloured blocks, to repeat orally a series of numbers, to give clear definitions of words and to resolve mentally a set of arithmetic problems. The tasks were all set in English or Italian and the children taking part were aged around nine.
It was observed that the bilingual children were significantly more successful in the tasks set for them. The Gaelic-speaking children were, in turn, more successful than the Sardinian speakers. More.