No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage...


I'm glad somebody published this .

Many people have been sharing left and right inspirational posts and news pieces that being bilingual gives you better executive functions.

It irks me to no end.

Being bilingual is not just about learning more than one language. It can mean having different cultures (e.g., intermarriage), geography, levels of affluence (e.g., rich parents can send their kids for foreign language classes), access to education (e.g., enrolment in French Immersion), and a whole host of other factors.
Virtually no studies (or at least well-powered ones) have randomly assigned children to bilingual opportunities and for long-term that supports continual reciprocal communication.

Does it mean being bilingual is bad and shouldn't be encouraged?
No.

It just means the evidence thus far do not support the idea that it gives you better higher order cognitive skills.

TL;DR: If you cannot afford to give your children another language, you're still a good parent.
If you can afford to give your child another language, great. But please stop indirectly parent-shaming by sharing inspirational posts about how bilingual children are better off.

By the way, while we're at it, the same goes for learning music. Ask yourself what access to music often means, who gets that access, and who does not.

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