District Administration, Jan 2013
While education research has long suggested that studying second languages in K12 schools boosts student achievement in other content areas, the current testing emphases on mathematics and reading has placed foreign language instruction relatively low on district priority lists. However, a growing body of research indicates that second-language learning should be bumped up significantly, as demonstrated particularly in the following areas.
Cognitive ability. Numerous studies document a positive relationship between early second language learning and improved mental processes, including conceptual learning (Archibald, 2006; Robinson, 1998). For example, a recent experiment with 104 six-year-olds found those who spoke two languages were better at switching from one task to another, an indicator of their ability to manage attention (Barac & Bialystok, 2012).
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