In a study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of theĀ Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientist Pascale Engel de Abreu of the University of Luxembourg and colleagues examine the effects of speaking two languages on the executive functioning of low-income children.

While experts have noted that learning an instrument can have altruistic and positive cognitive affects on children, and while previous research has shown that being bilingual enhances executive functioning in middle-class children, researchers are curious as to how it affects lower income populations.

Specifically, being bilingual has a positive influence on the ability to direct and focus attention, and experts hypothesize that in children living in low-income households, learning a second language can have the added effect of encoding and structuring knowledge in memory.