TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
Bilingual students learn a third language much more easily, study reveals
By Staff Writer
A study conducted at the University of Haifa has revealed that bilingual individuals find it much easier to learn a third language, due to the fact that they have a better aptitude for languages than unilingual peers.
The researchers recruited two groups of sixth-grade Israeli students who were studying English as a second language. The first group comprised a total of 40 students who spoke both Russian and Hebrew fluently, while the second consisted of 42 Hebrew-speaking individuals with no fluency in another tongue.
After a series of tests, the authors found that the bilingual students demonstrated higher proficiency in English, and that there was a 20 percent gap between their scores and that of the unilingual group.
"Gaining command of a number of languages improves proficiency in native languages. This is because languages reinforce one another, and provide tools to strengthen phonologic, morphologic and syntactic skills," the researchers explained.
They added that applying language skills from one tongue to another may be a critical cognitive function that strengthens a child's learning process.
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