The advantages and benefits of bilingualism

Marian received a Ph. Marian directs the Bilingualism and Psycholinguistics Laboratory and uses cognitive, behavioral, and neurological measures to study human language capacity and the consequences of bilingualism for linguistic, cognitive, and neural function. Anthony Shook is a doctoral candidate in the department of communication sciences and disorders at Northwestern University.

The advantages and benefits of bilingualism

From Mosaic 12 August In a cafe in south London, two construction workers are engaged in cheerful banter, tossing words back and forth. Their cutlery dances during more emphatic gesticulations and they occasionally break off into loud guffaws. They are discussing a woman, that much is clear, but the details are lost on me.

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Out of curiosity, I interrupt them to ask what they are speaking. With friendly smiles, they both switch easily to English, explaining that they are South Africans and had been speaking Xhosa.

In Johannesburg, where they are from, most people speak at least five languages, says one of them, Theo Morris.

Benefits of being bilingual. Research has shown that the brains of children who grew up speaking two different languages develop better cognitive functions. Scientists who examined the phenomenon gave it a specific name – the bilingual advantage. Here's a selection of some of the most important benefits brought by bilingualism. Oct 31,  · The cognitive, neural, and social advantages observed in bilingual people highlight the need to consider how bilingualism shapes the activity and the architecture of the brain, and ultimately how language is represented in the human mind, especially since the majority of speakers in the world experience life through more than one language. But did you know that the benefits of being bilingual go much deeper than that? Recent research on bilingualism has found that speaking another language can improve your life in many ways. Being bilingual can provide new career opportunities, improve your personal life and even lead to better health.

Was it easy to learn so many languages? Around the world, more than half of people — estimates vary from 60 to 75 per cent — speak at least two languages. Many countries have more than one official national language — South Africa has So to be monolingual, as many native English speakers are, is to be in the minority, and perhaps to be missing out.

Multilingualism has been shown to have many social, psychological and lifestyle advantages. Moreover, researchers are finding a swathe of health benefits from speaking more than one language, including faster stroke recovery and delayed onset of dementia.

At the current rate, half our languages will be extinct by the end of the century Could it be that the human brain evolved to be multilingual — that those who speak only one language are not exploiting their full potential?

And in a world that is losing languages faster than ever — at the current rate of one a fortnight, half our languages will be extinct by the end of the century — what will happen if the current rich diversity of languages disappears and most of us end up speaking only one?

View image of Credit: Getty Images I am sitting in a laboratory, headphones on, looking at pictures of snowflakes on a computer. As each pair of snowflakes appears, I hear a description of one of them through the headphones. All I have to do is decide which snowflake is being described.

The only catch is that the descriptions are in a completely invented language called Syntaflake. As you might expect, his lab is a Babel of different nationalities and languages — but no one here grew up speaking Syntaflake.

The task is profoundly strange and incredibly difficult. Usually, when interacting in a foreign language, there are clues to help you decipher the meaning. The speaker might point to the snowflake as they speak, use their hands to demonstrate shapes or their fingers to count out numbers, for example.

After a time, though, I begin to feel a pattern might be emerging with the syntax and sounds. The experience reminds me of a time I arrived in a rural town a few hours outside Beijing and was forced to make myself understood in a language I could neither speak nor read, among people for whom English was similarly alien.

I join Athanasopoulos for a chat while my performance is being analysed by his team.

The advantages and benefits of bilingualism

Glumly, I recount my difficulties at learning the language, despite my best efforts. But it appears that was where I went wrong: But your brain is primed to work it out subconsciously.But did you know that the benefits of being bilingual go much deeper than that?

Recent research on bilingualism has found that speaking another language can improve your life in many ways. Being bilingual can provide new career opportunities, improve your personal life and even lead to better health.

Oct 31,  · The cognitive, neural, and social advantages observed in bilingual people highlight the need to consider how bilingualism shapes the activity and the architecture of the brain, and ultimately how language is represented in the human mind, especially since the majority of speakers in the world experience life through more than one language.

Benefits of being bilingual.

The advantages and benefits of bilingualism

Research has shown that the brains of children who grew up speaking two different languages develop better cognitive functions. Scientists who examined the phenomenon gave it a specific name – the bilingual advantage.

Here's a selection of some of the most important benefits brought by bilingualism. A century on, things are very different. Since the s, several studies have shown that bilingualism leads to many advantages, beyond the obvious social benefits of being able to speak to more.

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Mar 18,  · But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a . That, in and of itself, is reason enough to learn a second, third, fourth, or fifth language—and to keep learning them as long as you’re able.

The bilingual advantage may not appear in the exact guise researchers think of it today. But, on a fundamental level, bilingualism’s real benefits could be far more important.

7 Powerful Benefits of Being Bilingual That'll Change Your Life | FluentU Language Learning