dual language learning

The Benefits of Learning Another Language!

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!

Sources:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bilingual-brains

http://io9.com/5897308/immersion-in-a-foreign-language-rewires-your-brain-+-especially-when-you-take-time-off

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3739690.stm

http://www.cerebralhacks.com/brain-exercises/the-effect-of-a-second-language-on-the-brain/

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