English Language Learning and Reasoning Ability in Iranian Primary Schools: An Urgent Need for Curriculum Reappraisal

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of English Language, Qeshm Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qeshm, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Research center for behavioral and neurosciences, School of medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

Abstract

Advantages of language teaching and learning in foreign contexts are undisputable. This study intended to check if Reasoning Ability (RA), as a promoted cognitive skill which is emphasized not only in the field of education, but also as an important element of most professions, is cognitively enhanced along with English language learning. To this end, a sample of Iranian primary school children, aged 5-8 years, were selected through purposive sampling and divided into thtree groups; that is, monolingual, bilingual, and limited bilingual children, in order to investigate their RA enhancement during early formal education. Also, a researcher-made psychometric test was used to measure quantitative, visual, nonverbal, matrix, and abstract reasoning of the sample during early primary school education. The results of the analyzed data indicated that the bilingual group outperformed the monolingual and the limited bilingual children in matrix, visual, abstract reasoning and logical thinking. The findings of the study can be used by educational policymakers to reconsider the primary school curriculum, and through holding workshops on streghthening national and religious values help English language instructors to unravel related problems.

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