The expert studies have shown it. The studies have confirmed the evidence. Brains endowed by studying another language benefit in many ways. Why are our brains in such a great advantage to learn another language besides our own native one? What are the neurolinguistic advantages of being bilingual?
Studies have shown that learning a foreign language improves your cognitive development, allows better language acquisition, and can deter aging. Babies are born with a precondition to learn another language besides their native one.
As bilingual babies are presented with a speaker that talks in the babies’ native language, another speaker is shown talking a different language. When one sound is turned off, these babies can associate the speaker to that language. How is this possible?
Our brains are powered with a critical period and a sensitive period of learning. The critical periods in the brain are biologically essential for development, yet it is not essential in learning.
It is true that babies in the early stages of development are more capable to acquire a language than an older person. But that is mostly due to different processes of phoneme in the brain during the sensitive period. Why is this important?
There are so many advantages of being bilingual. When babies are raised in a household of more than one language, they are capable of distinguishing between the two languages and develop phoneme awareness. More surprisingly, bilingual babies are more apt to pay attention to detail and manage languages with ease.
They are also able to apply what they learned in infancy to other tasks in life since they had learned to keep both languages separate from each other. They further produce a more ample vocabulary than monolinguals.
Although pronunciation is affected as age progresses, learning the language is not. Even though it takes time to acquire an accent of the local community, persistence in learning is far more rewarding. In fact, learning a foreign language can deter the early signs of aging and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
The advantages of being bilingual are greater than studies have shown. As we learn more about how our brains work, it can provide insight into how we learn new languages, and further impact how multilingual families and language schools expose children to new languages.
Barbara is a bilingual teacher in Spanish, math, and science. She is the creator of Spanish4Kiddos Tutoring Services. Spanish4Kiddos is a resource for parents and educators to teach Spanish with an insight into science. As an educator, she believes in a better education for all children. Connect with Barbara at her educational places, on Twitter @spanish4kiddos or Facebook at Spanish4Kiddos.