Friday, April 6, 2012

Bilinguals are Smarter: Confirmed by the NY Times!!

Photo from NY Times article

I know we all know that learning a second language is indeed a good thing. Lots of us who are bilingual or multilingual also want our kids to learn other languages too. But it is now scientifically confirmed that learning another language makes you smarter! Yes, bilinguals are smarter!

Our friends at Language Stars share with me an article from the New York Times confirming this fact. You know what is also good news? It does not matter how old you are when you become bilingual. Your brain will become more efficient and be smarter too whether you are 1 or 55 years old!

Bilingual babies and children have been tested with different games and have shown a higher degree of ability to monitor their environment. In their own words:

"The collective evidence from a number of such studies suggests that the bilingual experience improves the brain’s so-called executive function — a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks. These processes include ignoring distractions to stay focused, switching attention willfully from one thing to another and holding information in mind — like remembering a sequence of directions while driving."

The benefits of being bilingual also extend to older ages. There is a study that shows that bilingual individuals are more resistant to dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer's, acquiring these at a later age than those who are monolingual, and the higher the degree of bilingualism the older they were at the onset of the disease. Cool ha!

Disclosure: I will receive discounted tuition from Language Stars as compensation for this post. However all facts and opinions expressed in this post are true and my own. Language Stars have not asked me to write about anything in particular, only my true and honest opinion about my experience with their program.  This post have not been edited by a third person.

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