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A team of investigators and clinician-scientists in Singapore and internationally have found that there are advantages associated with exposure to two languages in infancy. As part of a long-term birth cohort study of Singaporean mothers and their offspring called GUSTO -- seminally a tripartite project between A*STAR's Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and the National University Hospital (NUH) -- (see Annex A), six-month old bilingualinfants recognised familiar images faster than those brought up in monolingual homes. They also paid more attention to novel images compared to monolingual infants.
The findings reveal a generalized cognitive advantage that emerges early in bilingual infants, and is not specific to a particular language. The findings were published online on 30 July 2014 in the scientific journal, Child Development.
Infants were shown a coloured image of either a bear or a wolf. For half the group, the bear was made to become the "familiar" image while the wolf was the "novel" one, and vice versa for the rest of the group. The study showed that bilingual babies got bored of familiar images faster than monolingual babies.
Several previous studies in the field have shown that the rate at which an infant becomes bored of a familiar image and subsequent preference for novelty is a common predictor of better pre-school developmental outcomes, such as advanced performance in concept formation, non-verbal cognition, expressive and receptive language, and IQ tests. The past studies showed that babies who looked at the image and then rapidly get bored, demonstrated higher performance in various domains of cognition and language later on as children.
Bilingual babies also stared for longer periods of time at the novel image than their monolingual counterparts, demonstrating "novelty preference." Other studies in the field have shown this is linked with improved performance in later IQ and vocabulary tests during pre-school and school-going years.
I am saying this evidence is being misinterpreted. The fact that they can learn a different language well should be considered. The kids that couldn't learn a second language, even though they were taught, have a problem converting the information. All this shows is which kids are more intelligent in the language conversion.