Tuesday September 17, 2019
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Being Bilingual May Not Benefit Your Kids

In addition, the researchers considered children's German and Turkish vocabulary size and exposure to both languages

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Do you think bilingualism will benefit your kids in any way? Think twice. A new study suggests that although speaking more than one language can provide social opportunities along the way, bilingual children are not necessarily more advantageous than monolingual ones when it comes to executive functions.

Executive function includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks.

“The research of executive functions is important because they have direct application to success in both real-life and academic situations,” said Julia Jaekel, associate professor from the University of Tennessee in the US.

For the study, the team examined 337 children aged five and 15 among which the first group spoke both Turkish and German and the other group spoke only German.

Bilingual kids attain cognitive and perceptional benefits
Being Bilingual May Not Benefit Your Kids. Pixabay

They used a computer test to compare the executive function of two groups of children.

The results, published in PLOS ONE, showed no difference in the executive functions of the two groups.

Also Read- Sleeping for Long Hours During Pregnancy Linked to Stillbirths

In addition, the researchers considered children’s German and Turkish vocabulary size and exposure to both languages.

However, it is important to continue the research on this topic so parents, educators, and policymakers do not overpromise on the benefits of speaking a second language, noted Nils Jaekel, clinical assistant professor at the varsity. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Fails to Allay Privacy Fears on Messenger Kids

Instead, the social media giant said it would focus more on its Messenger Kids service

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook is not doing enough to safeguard children on its Messenger Kids app and their privacy is at risk, US Democratic Senators have stressed.

Responding to Facebook’s reply to their earlier letter, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said that Facebook has to do a lot better to protect kids on its Messenger Kids platform, The Verge reported on Wednesday.

“Facebook’s response gives little reassurance to parents that Messenger Kids is a safe place for children today,” the Senators said.

“We are particularly disappointed that Facebook did not commit to undertaking a comprehensive review of Messenger Kids to identify additional bugs or privacy issues,” they added.

Facebook in July admitted a design flaw in its Messenger Kids Service that exposed thousands of children on group chats with unauthorised users.

The concerned Senators shot a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on August 6, asking him to explain what exactly is happening.

“Children’s privacy and safety online should be Messenger Kids’ top priority. Your company has a responsibility to meet its promise to parents that children are not exposed to unapproved contacts, a promise that it appears that Facebook has not fulfilled,” they wrote.

In a reply on Wednesday, Facebook Public Policy Vice President Kevin Martin said: “We believe… that Messenger Kids complies with COPPA (the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and we are committed to continually improving it to ensure that we not only comply with COPPA but also meet and exceed the high standards of parents and families.”

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

However, the Facebook reply failed to satisfy the Senators.

“If Facebook wants children and parents’ trust, it has to do a lot better than this. That means dropping Facebook’s current whack-a-mole method and taking a proactive approach that makes privacy and security the platform’s number one priority –particularly for kids,” the Senators noted.

The social networking platform introduced Messenger Kids in 2017 and is aimed at kids under 13 years of age.

Messenger Kids is a video chat and messaging app designed for kids to communicate with family and close friends that parents or caregivers approve.

Parents set up and manage their child’s Messenger Kids account through their own Facebook account.

Also Read: Tech Giant Apple Tweaks Siri to Protect Users’ Privacy

Facing the flak from lawmakers and experts, Facebook in February this year decided not to build a new app called “LOL” to let children share and post humorous meme content.

Instead, the social media giant said it would focus more on its Messenger Kids service. (IANS)