Research Topic

Multilingual Creative Cognition

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During the past few decades, research in the area of multilingual cognitive and linguistic development has made tremendous progress and provided evidence supporting the notion that speaking more than one language extends, rather than diminishes, an individual’s cognitive capacities. There is a strong argument ...

During the past few decades, research in the area of multilingual cognitive and linguistic development has made tremendous progress and provided evidence supporting the notion that speaking more than one language extends, rather than diminishes, an individual’s cognitive capacities. There is a strong argument in the literature that multilingual development may result in establishing specific architectures of the mind that are likely to promote later cognitive advantages. On the other side, according to the creative cognition approach, creativity is perceived as a product of normative cognitive functioning. Therefore, increase in general cognitive functioning may facilitate an individual’s creative abilities. If multilingualism results in more elaborate cognitive structures and/or functioning, it may also facilitate creative functioning. Unfortunately, the relationship between multilingualism and creativity received little attention in the scientific community. In about 40 years, this theme had been explored in only 40 studies. Only recently, it has been resuscitated and presented for systematic empirical investigation.

We aim to provide a platform for new contributions that represent a state-of-the art overview of approaches to cognitive mechanisms underlying multilingual creativity. Multilingual individuals do not present a homogeneous group; rather, they have different histories of acquisition and use of their languages. We welcome empirical research examining a potential impact of various factors in an individual’s language acquisition and use on his or her creative abilities. We also welcome theoretical contributions that provide detailed discussion of models or mechanisms that account for the link between multilingualism and creativity. In addition, we welcome research focusing on the methods and strategies facilitating the connections between multilingualism and creativity. Education researchers and educators are welcome to contribute empirical and theoretical work discussing how an individual’s multilingual competence and creative potential can be fostered in the educational setting.

We hope that this Research Topic will consolidate this area of research by formulating more precise hypotheses and causal models on the relation between individual multilingual practice, creativity abilities, and cognitive mechanisms underlying both.


Keywords: multilingualism, bilingualism, creativity, creative cognition, creative education, multilingual education, bilingual education


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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