Are bilinguals really smarter?

Many people believe that bilinguals—people who speak two languages—have an advantage over monolinguals on tasks that require executive control. “Executive control” is a term used by psychological scientists to refer to the management and regulation of specific cognitive processes like working memory and task-switching (shifting attention from one task to another).

Belief in the so-called bilingual advantage (BA) is based on a large number of scientific studies. These studies have repeatedly demonstrated that bilinguals, as a group, perform better than monolinguals on tasks that involve task-switching or inhibitory control (the ability to block a cognitive response).

Read more