August 21, 2011

Article: Why It’s Smart to Be Bilingual


Why It’s Smart to Be Bilingual
The brain’s real super-food may be learning new languages.
by Casey Schwartz
August 7, 2011

Bilingualism can be a leg up for college admission and a résumé burnisher. But a growing body of research now offers a further rationale: the regular, high-level use of more than one language may actually improve early brain development.

According to several different studies, command of two or more languages bolsters the ability to focus in the face of distraction, decide between competing alternatives, and disregard irrelevant information. These essential skills are grouped together, known in brain terms as “executive function.” The research suggests they develop ahead of time in bilingual children, and are already evident in kids as young as 3 or 4.

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