The effect of bilingualism on creativity: Developmental and educational perspectives

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This study is aimed at examining the possible effect of bilingualism on creativity in nonmathematical and mathematical problem solving among very young bilingual and monolingual preschoolers. An additional factor that has been considered in this study is the form of bilingual education. Accordingly, three groups of children (mean age = 45.4 months at the beginning of the study) participated in this study: (a) 13 bilingual children from a bilingual (Hebrew-Russian) kindergarten, (b) 10 bilingual children from a monolingual (Hebrew) kindergarten, and (c) 14 monolingual children (Hebrew) from a monolingual kindergarten. All children performed the Picture Multiple Solution task on general creativity and the Creating Equal Number task on mathematical creativity. The results reveal that both early bilingualism and some form of bilingual education seem to influence the children's general and mathematical creativity. Moreover, differences between bilingual children from the bilingual kindergarten and monolingual children were more prominent (in favor of the bilinguals). In addition, the findings confirm the hypothesis concerning the differences between two types of creative ability in the context of bilingual and monolingual development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-447
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • bilingualism
  • early childhood
  • general and mathematical creativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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