The research and study of the cognitive ability of children from different lingual backgrounds has been on the rise in the recent past. In consistent with this, researchers and scholars have investigated the levels of cognitive outcomes among children with multilingual, bilingual and monolingual backgrounds. The research findings from one of these studies indicate that children who had a multilingual background outperformed those with monolingual and bilingual foundations. On the other hand, 3rd grade children also outperformed preschooler children in the working memory activities. There are various reasons which have been cited as the core cause of these facts.
To begin with, multilingual learners were found to exhibit a high level of interactional competence as compared to both bilingual and monolingual. This factor acted as an added advantage to the interaction ability of the multilingual, a factor that facilitated their learning ability and enhanced their knowledge and understanding in the learning environment. Additionally, Ransdell, Barbier & Niit (2006), bilingual and multilingual students showed a better metalingual awareness of their language skills in reading and working memory than students who were monolingual, but who have comparable native language skills (p.728). In other words, as the students increased their knowledge and skills in diverse languages, the cognitive ability also increased.
In addition to this, the children who had multilingual background portrayed a high level of cognitive flexibility, which enhanced these children's ability to adjust to foreign language. Therefore, they utilized their coding and matching ability of words and phrases. Importantly, cognitive flexibility was therefore associated with superior learning capability and in this case, its level clocked the highest among children who had multilingual background as compared to those who had monolingual and bilingual background (Ransdell, Barbier & Niit, 2006).
Apart from seeing multilingual children outperforming monolingual and bilingual children, the research also found out that the 3rd grade children outperformed preschooler children. There are several reasons which could have caused these results. However, from the research which was carried out, it was realized that 3rd grade children had an expounded cognitive capacity as compared to their preschooler counterparts. Therefore, their perception of things and information was higher as compared to preschooler children. However, it is important to understand that the limited cognitive capacity of preschooler children was limited. Notably, this was as a result of the fact that 3rd grade children had a lot of exposure as compared to preschooler children in terms of the information and skills which had been acquired through learning.
There are numerous researches and studies which have been carried out in the past on lingual capabilities in reference to cognitive capacity in the society, especially among adults. Remarkably, these researches and studies have in most cases focused on monolingual as compared to bilingual capabilities of adults in different societies across the globe in the United States and in other countries such as France, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom. In line with this, the expansion of this study to examine multilingual capacity as compared to bilingual and monolingual capacities improved the accuracy of the conclusions which had been reached earlier.
Notably, whereas numerous researches had been carried out on monolingualism as compared to bilingualism among adults and their cognitive abilities, comparing these two to multilingualism especially among children increased the accuracy of the results which were obtained and as a result, especially on the learning abilities of students who possessed different lingual capabilities. Furthermore, conducting this research among children reduced the biasness which could. Remarkably, the previous researches and studies on this topic utilized adults as respondents who could easily respond with conceived thought and more so, their cognitive abilities had already be affected adversely by the environment in which they had grown up.
There are various important implications of these studies in the analysis of multilingual vs. monolingual and bilingual. To be specific, whereas studies and researches on this subject have been carried out in the past, the inclusion of multilingualism and use of children instead of adults created a deeper insight into the topic, taking into consideration the fact that children were at the level of developing their cognitive capabilities. These results were significant in the analyzing the learning ability of student with different lingual abilities. For instance, these results implied that increasing the lingual abilities of students especially when they are still in their early years of learning increased their learning or rather cognitive abilities.
This research was also found to exhibit some limitations which affected the results which were found by some margin. Notably, there were concerns which were raised in this research regarding the approved methods of measuring the cognitive abilities among children. To be specific, there were no standard ways of measuring the cognitive working memory on multilingual children. This affected the assumptions which were made concerning this research by a substantive margin, raising concerns on the actual results which were obtained. It is important to understand that there are ongoing researches and studies to developed standard ways of measuring cognitive working memory among children. Regardless of this limitation, this research was vital in understanding this topic. Therefore, there is need to carry out further studies on the effects of multilingualism on learning among children. Remarkably, having examined or rather compared the monolingualism and bilingualism to multilingualism in regard to cognition, it is important to further these researches to the learning environment and assess the impact of multilingualism on the learning abilities of children, especially in their early stages of development.