Re: [langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Wed Jan 03 2001 - 01:23:25 EST

>>>I would like to see any statistics tending to prove that pupils learning
>>>more languages have worse results in maths or science than the unilingual
>>>ones (let's say a comparison between HK pupils and the US ones ;-)).
>>There won't be. All evidence (and there's lots of it here in Ireland where
>>we have English-medium and Irish-medium schools) shows that, in general,
>>children who are bilingual do BETTER in school than monolingual children.

My personal experience from taking the same standardized test both before
moving to the US and a year after moving to the US is that my scores improved
markedly in the verbal section, but declined - or in the statistical sense
at least definitely did not improve - in the analytical section.

I found this an interesting result for two reasons. The first is that I did
a lot more intensive work in math and physics during that year than during
the preceding year(s). The second is that I would have expected a small
positive effect from more fluent interpretation of the test questions even
in the analytical section of the test.

My own personal attempt at explanation is that the rapid acquisition of a
full second language (and culture) during that time might have bound some
of the capacity that otherwise could have expressed itself in improved
analytical scores. The alternative conclusion would be that the analytical
test measured an innate skill largely unrelated to and unaffected by my
ongoing scientific training.

With this experience as a background, I've been very wary in accepting
any purported study results in this area.


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