Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume. 8 Number 4 December 2017                                           Pp. 451-466

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Effect of Bilingualism on the Development of Cognitive Processes among Children 

 Abdulaziz Alshahrani
Department of Foreign Languages
College of Arts and Humanities
Albaha University, Albaha City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia




The aim of this paper was to evaluate the contentions and evidence supporting two divergent views about the existence of advantages offered by bilingualism. It also considered whether a definite conclusion was possible. A qualitative research methodology using the published evidence was adopted. The published evidence supporting or rejecting the advantages of bilingualism was collected using search terms in the Google Scholar search engine. A total number of 64 papers were collected, among which only five challenged the claimed advantages enjoyed by bilingual individuals. The papers were classified by their orientation and discussed. Based on the points derived from the evaluation of evidence, some conclusions were drawn.  The overwhelming research support in favour of the existence of supposed bilingual advantage tends to suggest a conclusion in favour of that hypothesis. However, the points raised by critics, such as small sample sizes, inadequate matching of other variables, as well as defective measurements and analysis cannot be ignored as they question the very validity of the studies which support bilingual advantage. Future research needs to pay more attention to these aspects.
Keywords: advantages of bilingualism, bilingualism, bilingual acquisition, childhood bilingualism

Cite as:  Alshahrani, A. (2017). Effect of Bilingualism on the Development of Cognitive Processes among Children. Arab World English Journal, 8 (4).


Dr. Abdulaziz Alshahrani is an assistant professor of Applied Linguistics, graduated from the
University of Newcastle, Australia. He was admitted to the degree of MA with distinction in
Applied Linguistics from the same institution. His works are related to the fields of language
acquisition, psycholinguistics, the roles of the social variables and other topics. At the moment, he
works as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Albaha University, in Saudi