Document Type : original article


1 MA, Department of TEFL, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of education and psychology, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran.



Introduction: In recent years, an abundance of research has been conducted on the effects of bilingualism, with varying conclusions.

Aim: This study was designed to assess the executive functions of the brain (working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control), metacognitive awareness, and cognitive flexibility between advanced English language learners and typical students.

Method: this study was applied and causally compared. In the academic year 2022-2023, the population included all primary school students in Tehran's districts 5 and 18 between the ages of 7 and 12 years old. The sample size for the study was 180 individuals, and 90 individuals were chosen for each group using the convenience sampling method. Data was collected using the executive function questionnaire developed by Delis and Kaplan, the metacognitive awareness questionnaire developed by Mokhtari and Richards, and the cognitive flexibility test (Wisconsin card sorting). Using SPSS 24, an independent t-test was conducted on the collected data.

Results: All components of brain executive functions, including working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control, metacognitive awareness, and cognitive flexibility, are meaningfully different between the two groups (P< 0.05), according to the study's findings.

Conclusion: According to the acquired results and the superiority of bilingual students over monolingual students in executive functions, metacognitive awareness, and cognitive flexibility, it can be likened to the early planning of second language instruction in schools.