In this study, we reviewed recent studies comparing executive function performance of bi and monolingual children. In that respect, we came across 27 studies. Most of these studies report “partial” executive function advantage for bilingual children (i.e., a bilingual advantage is reported only for some tasks within the same study). In this regard, we examined in detail whether the executive function advantage in bilingual children is general or this advantage appears only in specific executive function tasks. Upon this evaluation, we observed that the bilingual advantage is not specific to a particular executive function paradigm or executive function task classification. To better explain these inconsistencies, we assessed and discussed the moderator factors (i.e., second language age of acquisition, language proficiency, language exposure, language interactional context, minority status, and socioeconomic status) that potentially could affect the outcome of studies examining the executive function skills of bilingual children. We concluded that the bilingual advantage on executive functions is linked to the general executive function system rather than a single executive function task; however, these effects cannot consistently be demonstrated due to the ignored moderator factors. Thus, to obtain more precise results, we offered suggestions for future studies that will compare bi and monolingual children on executive function performance.
Bilingualism, childhood period, executive functions