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Title: Bilingualism and creativity in cognitive functioning
Author: Okoh, Nduka
ISNI:       0000 0004 2695 7062
Awarding Body: Cardiff University College
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 1978
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Is bilingualism a help or a handicap in cognitive funcfiöning 7 More specifically, is the bilingual person likely to be more or less flexible (or divergent) in his style of thinking compared to the monoglot ? This investigation was focussed on the relationship between bilingualism and creativity. It was hypothesised that since language and thought. are intimately related, the bilingual person, because. he had two linguistic vantage windows or corridors to the world of phenomena, so to speak, would probably have an edge over the monoglot in the divergent production of ideas, ceteris paribus - on, the rationale that he would presumably have a greater repertoire of cognitive signs, meanings and relationships to draw upon. To test this hypothesis, and other cognate hypotheses which were formulated, operational definitions of "bilingualism" and "creativity" were stated, and two samples of primary. school pupils (62/60 pupils in Nigeria, and 86/81 pupils in Wales respectively) were selected to reflect broadly a bilingual/monoglot dichotomy. A battery of tests of verbal and non-verbal creativity, verbal and non-verbal intelligence, and language proficiency was then administered to these'samples. In addition, broad indices of the supportive home language environment and 'social class' of the pupils were obtained and used, as well as teachers' rankings of pupils' creativity and intelligence. The results of these tests and evaluations were then statistically analysed on a language group basis (i. e. bilingual and monoglot groups compared) to test the saliency of the hypotheses. . It was found, briefly, that: 1. sex and age factors have no significant effect on creativity test performance; 2. amongst the bilingual samples, there was a strong tendency for the pupils with bilingual parents and pupils who come from homes where there is more intensive use of the 'school' language at home to be more verbally creative; 3. bilingual children were significantly higher'scorers in the verbal creativity tests than their monoglot counterparts, but there was no significant difference between the scores of the bilingual and monoglot groups of children in the non-verbal creativity tests; 4. the more proficiency in language-use a pupil demonstrated, the more verbally creative he was likely to be; 5. teachers' assessments of their pupils in terms of creativity and intelligence diverged significantly from the actual performance of the pupils on these tests. These results were then discussed, possible explanations of them hypothesised, and policy recommendations based on them were made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available