A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Cognitive Correlates of Bilingualism

Jun. 20, 2010

Source: Review of Educational Research, 80(2): 207-245. (June 2010).

A number of studies have documented the cognitive outcomes associated with bilingualism.
To gain a clear understanding of the extent and diversity of these cognitive outcomes, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of studies that examined the cognitive correlates of bilingualism.

Data from 63 studies which involving 6,022 participants were extracted and analyzed following established protocols and procedures for conducting systematic reviews and guidelines for meta-analysis.

Results indicate that bilingualism is reliably associated with several cognitive outcomes, including increased attentional control, working memory, metalinguistic awareness, and abstract and symbolic representation skills.
Overall mean effect sizes varied from small to large, depending on the cognitive outcomes measured, and were moderated by methodological features of the studies.

Updated: Nov. 02, 2010