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The Relationship Between Bilingualism and Creativity Revisited: Some Considerations for English Education

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2017, 18(2), pp.45-69
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching
  • Published : May 31, 2017

Gyeonghee No 1

1서울교육대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Upon the introduction of the Fourth Revolution, creativity is stressed to be one of the core capacities for individuals to be equipped with. This study aims to provide some insights on the potential contribution of English teaching to the development of creativity among English learners. To achieve the goal, it first examines the positive relationship between bilingualism and creativity by reviewing the literature. Second, it investigates the underlying mechanisms of how bilingualism fosters creativity, which have been rarely dealt with in the literature. To speculate on the “how,” specific examples are drawn from categorization process in language learning, bilinguals’ lexical and conceptual representations, and their cross-cultural experiences. Third, it proposes that creativity in bilinguals is a function of cognitive flexibility, by demonstrating striking similarities between the cognitive processes involved in second language learning and the construct of divergent thinking which is often measured by Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Finally, it suggests that English teaching in and of itself may be potential contributions to cultivating English learners’ creativity and thus English teachers are better to focus on the issue of ‘teaching creatively’ rather than on that of ‘teaching for creativity.’

Citation status

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