I came across this wonderful video which gives the scientific answer to this question. Which has more potential- A child’s brain or the internet? You can find out for yourself by watching “BRAIN POWER: From Neurons to Networks.” You will actually build more connections in your brain by watching the video, because you will be learning something new!
Interesting facts about the brain:
* A child is born with 100 billion neurons.
* The Internet has 100 trillion links.
* An adult’s brain has 300 trillion connections.
* A child’s brain has a quadrillion connections, which form during the first five years of a child’s life….that is 10 times the amount of the entire internet!
* A fruit fly has 100,000 active brain cells.
* A mouse has 5 million.
* A monkey has 10 billion.
* Adults have had 100 billion active brain cells, since birth!
As an educator, I am asked all the time by parents “what can make my child smarter?” This is how I am going to answer this question from now on…have your child learn another language!
How does learning another language help a child “get smarter” you ask? This is what recent research reveals about bilingualism and dual language learning.
Current Research about Learning Two Languages:
- A child’s thinking and cognition is improved by learning another language.
- Children who know two languages are better problem-solvers!
- Their brain works differently.
- Knowledge of a second language affects how you read in your native tongue-sometimes faster.
- It alters grey matter – the area of the brain which processes information, just like exercising builds muscle.
- It improves skills in the native language.
- Regardless of race and socioeconomic status, children with dual languages, did better on standardized tests.
- Higher creativity in story-telling occurs.
- In terms of language-semantic development, they were ahead by 2-3 years.
- It exercises the brain, as it is a cognitivly-challenging task.
Old Myths about Dual language Learning:
(Keep in mind, these are beliefs that are not backed up by research. Some children did experience these obstacles, but some of those children also had prior learning/speech disorders in their native language)
- It confuses children.
- Learning another language takes brain power away from learning the native language.
- The native language worsens as a result.
- Test scores decrease.
Future Benefits of Knowing Two or more Language:
- The opportunity for getting a better job, which requires bilingualism.
- The chance to travel to other countries for that job!
- Improved tolerance and awareness of other cultures.
- Increases social skills with those of other culutures.
Isnt’ this all amazing! I am so excited to learn what this new research proves about bilingualism! I would love to hear your experiences with children learning two languages!