10 Benefits of being Bilingual
In a study published in ScienceDaily: Bilingual Benefits Beyond Communication in November 2010, the research team led by Ellen Bialystok of York University found that bilingual children outperformed monolingual children in speed of assimilation, between two or more mental tasks. Switching between two languages develops the parts of the brain that control switching between different activities or streams of thought. This enhanced mind control ability can make bilingual minds more flexible, better at multitasking, and seeing beyond the obvious.
The same study found that bilingual people are better able to focus on tasks and block out distractions. This increased focus and control stems from the ability to keep the two separate languages in mind without mixing up words and grammar.
Resistance to Alzheimer’s Disease
Professor Judith Kroll conducted research in bilingual seniors that suggests that bilingual speakers are more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease than monolinguals. This resistance could be due to the constant mental exercise necessary to exchange between two languages at the same time. This constant “brain gymnastics” keeps the brain active and flexible in the future.
People who speak more than one language have better problem solving skills. The Bialystok team theorized that “bilinguals have superior working memory for information storage and processing,” giving them a greater ability to think creatively and flexibly about how to carry out tasks. and overcome obstacles. And although the greatest advantages were observed in people who used both languages on a daily basis, the Canadian researcher points out that even practicing that second language learned at school in the summer can be beneficial against dementia.
Of course, the most obvious advantage of being bilingual is the ability to communicate in two languages. Developmental experts used to think that learning two languages from birth would lead to language confusion and compromised abilities in both languages, not only have they been shown to be wrong, quite the opposite is true. Speaking two languages allows bilinguals to have more ideas, and a better ability to communicate in both languages.
Bilinguals have been shown to have better listening skills than monolinguals. They are more focused and better able to discern the meaning of the interlocutor.
Being bilingual opens the doors of communication to new people at work, at home, and in the community. It allows the bilingual person to make friends in two or more different communities, and make connections with new and interesting people, both at home and abroad.
Speaking a second language is not limited to allowing communication, but also allows the speaker to learn more about other cultures and traditions. Language and culture are deeply intertwined, and speaking the language of another community is the first step to fully understanding their lifestyle, traditions, and beliefs.
On a practical level, being bilingual opens doors to employment and many academic opportunities that would otherwise be impossible. Academically, many fields of study require language skills as a prerequisite to study, bilinguals have an advantage. Employers value bilingual employees for their ability to communicate with customers and coworkers.
Being bilingual opens doors in your current location, but it also opens many new doors in different parts of the world. Speaking a second language can make traveling easier and more rewarding. If you need a visa to travel, being bilingual can make it easier to get approved.
If you have children that are growing up in a bilingual enviroment and would like to speak to a specialist, you can find a list of bilingual and culturally sensitive psycholigists in the ESHA Spain business directoryLeave a reply
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