Executive functions of early school-children bilingual during of studying third language

Executive functions of early school-children bilingual during of studying third language

Author: Novgorodova Yu., Khotinets V., Kozhevnikova O., Udmurt State University (Russia)
bilingualism, trilingualism, executive functions, studying a third language, early school children
The study is focused on issues of the possibility of extrapolating the effects of bilingualism on trilingualism at the primary school age, and of increasing / decreasing cognitive regulation of bilingual children in the process and result of learning other languages. The study involved 60 second-grade students aged 8 to 9.8 years (M = 8.8, SD = 0.36). Among them are 30 primary schoolchildren with unbalanced bilingualism (inherited Udmurt language) socializing in the Udmurt-Russian environment; and 30 monolinguals with native Russian. To measure the components of cognitive regulation, NEPSY-II test battery (Sentence Repetition, Memory for Designs, Inhibition) and computerized tests (Stroop Test, Shulte Tables, Memory for geometric shapes, Go-NoGo) were used. The mathematical and statistical analysis included: descriptive statistics, a non-parametric test (Mann-Whitney U-test) and Structural Equation Modeling implemented with IBM SPSS Statistics V22.0. The results of the pilot study confirm the bilingual advantage in the process of learning a third language by primary bilingual schoolchildren. In particular, the positive effects of bilingualism on regulatory functions have been revealed, and, at the same time, in the process of learning a third language bilingual primary schoolchildren experience the increasing burden on the regulation of changes in actions and behavior during the transition from one rule to another. Thus, a possible syncretic (mixed) effect of bilingualism in the process of a third language acquisition by primary schoolchildren with the need to control it in an educational situation was revealed. We admit that bilingualism in the educational situation of a third language acquisition as a predictor of cognitive changes provides advantages in the self-organization of subsystems of regulatory processes of the cognitive level and, along with this, creates difficulties due to the high regulatory burden. The research was financially supported by the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) research project №23-28-10202.

Russian Psychological Society

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Federal Scientific Center for Psychological and Interdisciplinary Research,
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Psychology Department of MSU

Psychology Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University,
Moscow, Russia

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