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Bilingualism and

Creativity
Tim Nelson
Sierra Nevada College
EDUC 560, Spring 2015
What is language?
What is Bilingualism?
Bilingualism is defined as the
ability to speak two languages
fluently, and fluency is an
accumulation of skills that are
required to communicate by
speaking, listening, writing,
reading, and comprehension
(Saunders G., 1988).
What is Creativity?

Creativity, as defined in psychometric


terms, is the ability to go beyond
ordinary ideas or traditions by
activating an array of divergent and
convergent thinking mechanisms in
order to produce novel ideas or
alternative explanations (Kharkhurin,
2011).
Is Divergent Thinking the
same as creativity ?

Park, Andrew & Robinson, Sir Ken (2010)


Video

https://youtu.be/P5rvmczGANc
Bilingualism & Creativity
in Early Childhood
Mark Leikin & Esther Tovli (2014)

Examined the possible effects of bilingualism on


creativity in nonmathematical and mathematical
problem solving among bilingual and monolingual
preschoolers.
Two Groups of Children (M age= 71.9 months,
SD=3.6) from monolingual kindergartens
15 Russian/Hebrew balanced bilinguals and 16
native Hebrew-speaking monolinguals.
Bilingualism and Creativity in
Early Childhood
Types of tests:
Working Memory Test,
Verbal (Semantic) Fluency Test,
The Pictorial Multiple Solution (PMS) Task
on general creativity,
and the Creating Equal Number Task (CEN)
on Mathematical activity
Solve the Characters
problem!!
http://imageserver.ebscohost.com.sierranev.idm.oc
lc.org/img/imageqv/actual/e05/20130801/277657
30.jpg?ephost1=dGJyMNXb4kSepq84v
%2bbwOLCmr02epq5Srqa4SK6WxWXS

Mark Leikin & Esther Tovli (2014)


Bilingualism & Creativity
in Early Childhood
General Results
Bilinguals outperformed monolinguals by remembering
more correct words in the working memory test.

Pictorial Multiple Solutions (PMS) task childrens answers


were identical in character.

Creating Equal Numbers (CEN) show considerable


differences between bilingual and monolingual children
on all creativity measures besides fluency
The Role of Selective Attention
in Bilingual Creativity

Anatoliy V. Kharkurin (2011)

Cognitive mechanisms of selective attention that


potentially mediate the effect of bilingualism on
creative abilities
90 bilingual college students with different
proficiency levels in English
The Role of Selective Attention
in Bilingual Creativity

Type of tests:
Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA)
The Test of Structured Imagination
Fluid intelligence
Test of Selective Attention
Abbreviated Torrance Test
for Adults (ATTA).

Torrance, E.P. (1974).


Abbreviated Torrance Test
for Adults (ATTA).

Anatoliy V. Kharkhurin & Li Wei (2015)


Abbreviated Torrance Test
for Adults (ATTA)
Torrance, E.P. (1974).
Abbreviated Torrance Test
for Adults (ATTA).

Anatoliy V. Kharkhurin & Li Wei (2015)


The Role of Selective Attention
in Bilingual Creativity

General Results:
General advantage of more linguistically proficient
bilinguals on both creative an cognitive tasks.
Bilinguals with moderate language proficiency
employed facilitation mechanisms of selective
attention more readily.
Higher selective attention was correlated higher
fluid intelligence
Relationship Between Bilingualism and Adaptive
Creative style, Innovative Creative Style, and Creative
Strengths Among Korean American Students

Hangeun Lee & Kyung Hee Kim (2010)

Examine whether there was a relationship among


different degrees of bilingualism and creativity.
116 Korean American Students 49 boys mean age
11.84 (Range=8-16; SD=2.285) and 65 girls with the
mean age of 11.26 (Range=7-18; SD=2.477)
Relationship Between Bilingualism and Adaptive
Creative style, Innovative Creative Style, and Creative
Strengths Among Korean American Students

Type of Tests:
Word Association Test (WAT)

Subjective Self Rating (SSR)


Both used for degree of bilingualism

Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT)


Relationship Between Bilingualism and Adaptive
Creative style, Innovative Creative Style, and Creative
Strengths Among Korean American Students

General Results:
Balanced bilingualism group had higher mean
scores than both the non-balanced and monolingual
group for
innovative creative style and creative strengths.

Negative correlations coefficients between the


scores on the WAT and adaptive creative style, as
well as creative strengths,
indicate that the degree of bilingual is positively associated
with creativity.
Conclusions
In early childhood development balanced bilingualism had a
positive effect on the development of creativity, however it
varies for different domains of bilingualism (Leiken & Tovli,
2014)
In college aged bilinguals those with advanced linguistic
abilities showed greater creative abilities over less proficient
peers (Kharkhurin, 2011).
Difference in two types of cognitive selective attention among levels
of bilingualism FACILITATION vs. INHIBITION
Facilitation (relevant) moderate proficient Bilinguals
Enhance generative capacity ability to think outside the box
Inhibition (irrelevant) highly proficient Bilinguals
Enhance innovative capacity to go beyond standard characteristics
Conclusions

Adaptive creative style and creative strengths may


be correlated to societal factors and language.
*limitation, used one ethnic group. Cannot be applied to
entire bilingual population

Whereas innovative creative style may be a constant


regardless of societal influences and language
(Hangeun, L., & Kyung Hee, K. 2010).
What is language and
culture?
Reference

Anatoliy V. Kharkhurin & Li Wei (2015). The role of code-switching in bilingual creativity,
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 18:2, 153-169, DOI:
10.1080/13670050.2014.884211
Saunders, G. (1988). Bilingual children: from birth to teens. Philadelphia, PA: Multilingual
Matters Inc.
Hangeun, L., & Kyung Hee, K. (2010). Relationships Between Bilingualism and Adaptive
Creative Style, Innovative Creative Style, and Creative Strengths Among Korean American
Students. Creativity Research Journal, 22(4), 402-407. doi: 10.1080/10400419.2010.523409
Kharkhurin, A. V. (2010). Bilingual verbal and nonverbal creative behavior. International
Journal Of Bilingualism, 14(2), 211-226. doi:10.1177/1367006910363060 Kharkhurin, A. V.
(2011). The Role of Selective Attention in Bilingual Creativity. Creativity Research Journal,
23(3), 239-254. doi:10.1080/10400419.2011.595979
Language and bilingualism in the brain https://youtu.be/P5rvmczGANc

Mark Leikin & Esther Tovli (2014) Bilingualism and Creativity in Early Childhood,
Creativity Research Journal, 26:4, 411-417, DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2014.961779
Mark Leikin & Esther Tovli (2014) Bilingualism and
Creativity in Early Childhood, Creativity Research
Journal, 26:4, 411-417, DOI:
10.1080/10400419.2014.961779

Park, Andrew & Robinson, Sir Ken (2010), Royal


society of arts, changing paradigms in education.
RSAnimate. www.RSA.org

Torrance, E.P. (1974). Torrance tests of creative


thinking: Directions manual and scoring guide.
Lexington, MA:Ginn.