Ever since my research for my 2002 book Bilingual Couples Talk I’ve regularly been told by people – or been asked to confirm their belief – that a cross-cultural relationship is beneficial once the couple have children. The children are expected to not only be bilingual but also to enjoy cognitive advantages from growing up with more than one culture and to be more open minded and better communicators. I’ve always struggled how to respond because, of course, nothing is ever this simple. A 2011 study of the cognitive and linguistic abilities of various groups of preschoolers in Germany confirms the assumption – children of intermarried couples outperform all other groups on a cognitive ability test – and, simultaneously, explain why it is a fallacy that confounds ethnicity and class.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)