COHFA | Global Languages Senior Colloquium

Title

My Head Understands, My Heart Understands: Increased Cognitive and Emotional Perspective-Taking in Bilingual Education

Presenter Information

Sierra ToddFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Spanish w/ Teaching Certificate

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Professor Elena Picech

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Children entering school have higher expectations than ever before for learning advanced concepts and curriculum at young ages. This also means that early childhood education and preparing children to satisfactorily progress through preschool and elementary school is paramount to set them up for success in the future. The dynamic of many classrooms and learning environments is shifting to include more social connectivity between students in the class, in other classes in the school, and in other schools across the world. With the increased ease in connectivity between people in school and work environments, well-developed social skills are vital to student growth. One fundamental aspect of advancing these skill sets is the development of perspective-taking abilities in childhood. Cognitive perspective-taking includes a child’s theory of mind abilities, or understanding that others have different thoughts and ideas. Emotional perspective-taking includes the ability of practicing empathy. These skills develop more rapidly in children in bilingual environments, showing advancements in both their cognitive and social skills. This research project will assess how exposure to a bilingual environment in education strengthens these advantages. It will also address if less frequent exposure is equally effective to conclude that regular, more frequent exposure to a bilingual environment is most beneficial.

Spring Scholars Week 2020 Event

GLT 400

Other Scholars Week Event

GLT 400

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My Head Understands, My Heart Understands: Increased Cognitive and Emotional Perspective-Taking in Bilingual Education

Children entering school have higher expectations than ever before for learning advanced concepts and curriculum at young ages. This also means that early childhood education and preparing children to satisfactorily progress through preschool and elementary school is paramount to set them up for success in the future. The dynamic of many classrooms and learning environments is shifting to include more social connectivity between students in the class, in other classes in the school, and in other schools across the world. With the increased ease in connectivity between people in school and work environments, well-developed social skills are vital to student growth. One fundamental aspect of advancing these skill sets is the development of perspective-taking abilities in childhood. Cognitive perspective-taking includes a child’s theory of mind abilities, or understanding that others have different thoughts and ideas. Emotional perspective-taking includes the ability of practicing empathy. These skills develop more rapidly in children in bilingual environments, showing advancements in both their cognitive and social skills. This research project will assess how exposure to a bilingual environment in education strengthens these advantages. It will also address if less frequent exposure is equally effective to conclude that regular, more frequent exposure to a bilingual environment is most beneficial.