Bilingual speakers have the edge

The New York Times published an article yesterday (May 30) we consider a Must-read for all Parental Pal minded people, it reports on the findings of cognitive neuroscientist, Ellen Bialystok who conducted in-depth research on “The Bilingual Advantage”.

Here is the link to the original article, it’s highly recommended reading !

Two short excerpts:

“In terms of monolinguals and bilinguals, the big thing that we have found is that the connections are different. So we have monolinguals solving a problem, and they use X systems, but when bilinguals solve the same problem, they use others. One of the things we’ve seen is that on certain kinds of even nonverbal tests, bilingual people are faster. Why? Well, when we look in their brains through neuroimaging, it appears like they’re using a different kind of a network that might include language centers to solve a completely nonverbal problem. Their whole brain appears to rewire because of bilingualism.”

… and ” People e-mail me and say, “I’m getting married to someone from another culture, what should we do with the children?” I always say, “You’re sitting on a potential gift.”  There are two major reasons people should pass their heritage language onto children. First, it connects children to their ancestors. The second is my research: Bilingualism is good for you. It makes brains stronger. It is brain exercise.”

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