Verbal abilities in low and highly proficient bilinguals
The study investigated native language verbal skills among low and highly proficient bilinguals, using the WISC III verbal subtests. Highly proficient bilinguals showed a superiority for almost all verbal subtests. This finding lends support to Threshold Theory which maintains that bilinguals need to achieve high levels of linguistic proficiency before bilingualism can promote cognitive development. Our study also shows that verbal ability underlying proficiency in the native language can be generalized to a foreign language, revealing a causal connection between native and foreign language learning.