Great article–check it out.
An article (Resources for Increasing the Emphasis on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity)
in a recent issue of the journal ZERO TO THREE reviews the
evidence that fostering bilingualism in young children yields
important cognitive benefits. Children who grow up exposed to
multiple languages learn multiple ways of expressing ideas and
concepts. They also have to learn when to shift from using one
language to another. Because of these experiences, some research
shows that bilingual children are better than their monolingual
peers at regulating their thoughts and behaviors and at learning
words that have overlapping meanings. The impact on self-regulation
not only improves behavior in the classroom; it is also helpful when
children have to adjust their thinking to solve novel problems.
Finally, the article discusses evidence that the knowledge gained
from learning in one’s native language can be transferred to another
language. This suggests that teaching skills and concepts in English
language learners’ first language — assuming they are fluent in
that language — may actually benefit their understanding of those
skills and concepts in English.