Benefits of Foreign Language Learning and Bilingualism: An Analysis of Published Empirical Research 2005–2011

By Fox, Rebecca; Corretjer, Olga et al. | Foreign Language Annals, Fall 2019 | Go to article overview

Benefits of Foreign Language Learning and Bilingualism: An Analysis of Published Empirical Research 2005–2011


Fox, Rebecca, Corretjer, Olga, Webb, Kelley, Tian, Jie, Foreign Language Annals


1 | INTRODUCTION

Since 1966, the year when ACTFL was founded, there has been a strong, purposeful, and consistent quest toward "building awareness about the benefits and advantages to language learning among the public at large ... and effecting change or influencing policies surrounding language education" (Moeller & Abbott, 2018, p. 13). A decade after ACTFL's founding, the 1979 President's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies report, assembled under President Jimmy Carter (from Perkins, 1979, as cited in Moeller & Abbott, 2018), addressed the importance of foreign language (FL) study and its resulting benefits. Over time multiple initiatives have moved advocacy forward, including the 2017 campaign Lead with Languages (see https://www.leadwithlanguages.org), a growing commitment by states and advocacy groups to support the Seal of Biliteracy (http://www.sealofbiliteracy.org) and a vision of implementing the recommendations of the report America's Languages (American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2017, p. 38).

However, even in the growing context of positive attitudes and advocacy for language study, there still remains hesitance among policy makers to implement well-funded, coherent FL programs across the United States that begin in the early years and continue through high school. Now, when "as a nation we appear to increasingly value linguistic and cultural competence, much work remains to be done to establish language learning not only at the core of the curriculum in America's schools but in the mindset of the average American" (Moeller & Abbott, 2018, p. 13). Given a lingering deficit mindset fueled by the results from early research after World War II, when IQ testing suggested a negative relationship between intelligence and bilingualism (Baker & Wright, 2017), some individuals have continued to express anxiety about FL learning and bilingualism. Others have had little to no exposure to what the research says about the positive aspects of language learning and bi-multilingualism, or about what types of programs and instruction provide the most robust results. There is no doubt that language educators have much to do to make multilingualism and intercultural competence a reality for all students-that is, the "new normal" in the United States (Moeller & Abbott, 2018, p. 13).

What, then, must the field do to promote a generalized understanding that:

... in today's increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, proficiency in other languages is a vital skill that gives you the opportunity to engage with the world in a more immediate and meaningful way-whether in your neighborhood or thousands of miles away-while better preparing you to compete and succeed in the global economy. (from Lead with Languages, https://www.leadwithlanguages.org)

How can one create a mindset that speaking another language is essential to being a 21stcentury global citizen-that is to say, one who is actively engaged in the broader world and can advocate for world understanding, a vibrant economy, and greater future peace? What will it take to convince policy makers, school boards, parents, and learners that speaking other languages proficiently also has the potential to actually enhance one's personal life and bring benefits to individuals who speak them? At what pace, if at all, is research evidence of the benefits of language learning, bilingualism, and multilingualism advancing?

Drawn from a comprehensive search using multiple databases, a survey of empirical research and accompanying qualitative analysis of the researchers' findings published during the first two decades of the 21st century was divided into two segments, enabling an in-depth analysis and findings from each of the two decades. Part I is presented in this publication and builds upon results of an earlier compilation of studies (Valdés, Kibler, & Philipose, 2004), capturing research from 2005 through 2011; Part II (forthcoming from Fox, Corretjer, and Webb) will include the empirical published research on this topic appearing from 2012 to 2019. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Benefits of Foreign Language Learning and Bilingualism: An Analysis of Published Empirical Research 2005–2011
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.