Edited by Irina A. Sekerina, Lauren Spradlin and Virginia Valian
[Studies in Bilingualism 57] 2019
► pp. 265–279
Chapter 17. Executive control in bilingual children
Factors that influence the outcomes
While findings on the bilingual advantage in adults are mixed, the data from children are more consistent but still show variations. A number of factors influence the outcomes, such as individual bilingual characteristics, variations in target functions, and differences in task type. Our goal is to demonstrate that there is a complex relationship among these variables and that the outcomes of executive function (EF) studies depend on the interactions among these factors. Performance on EF is influenced by children’s language proficiency, language use, age, socioeconomic status, and culture. These individual features show different interactions with different executive components. Bilingual and monolingual children differ in some EFs but not in others. Variations in tasks and other measurement issues further increase the differences in the results. We may better understand the nature of the bilingual advantage in children if we combine aspects of developmental science and language processing with hypotheses about bilingualism.