~posted by Ruth
What an advantage people who are bilingual have! Of course, there’s the obvious benefit of being able to communicate and understand larger groups of peoples, cultures, and world views. But there’s so much more that current researchers are learning, leading to more and more bilingual programs for young children. And that’s such a wonderful trend!
The two most common ways children acquire more than one language are simultaneous acquisition (for example, if parents speak more than one language in the home) and bilingual education. Both methods of second language learning in childhood are associated with cognitive benefits such as increased ability in concept formation, creativity, and analogical reasoning, and advantages in verbal and non-verbal abilities (Diaz & Klinger, 1991: 183-184). The method of second language acquisition doesn’t appear to affect the benefits gained. For more information–and citations to research studies, if that’s your interest, check out:
Want more about the benefits of bilingual education? How about recent research that shows it’s good for the brain itself: “The skill helps improve multitasking and prioritizing, and helps ward off early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, experts say.” LA Times: Bilingualism Good for the Brain
So stay tuned for more on the world of bilingual education, and the benefits of speaking, reading and writing in two languages. Oh, and of course we’ll have book ideas and recommendations.