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Multilingual Children Excel

File photo.

File photo.

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - With large numbers of immigrants in the US, educators have been concerned about kids who speak one language at home and must learn english in american schools. However, a review of 100 studies from medicine, psychology, education and linguistics concluded that multilinguism is an advantage.

In the latest issue of Social Policy Report published by the Society for Research in Child Development, endorsed by The American Society of Pediatricians, is the finding that speaking more than one language does not confuse a child. Rather, being multilingual is associated with higher academic achievement and enhanced mental health.

Practioners and pediatricians who work with multilinguals should nurture and maintain their language skill rather than view it as a risk factor in children’s lives.

In Education Week, Holly Vettick brings these issues to public attention including studies that show that by age 10, kids in language immersion schools can perform as well as monolingual speakers of either language.

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