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Thread: Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power

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    LB
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    Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power

    ~I think this is a great article. It highlights the benefits of teaching your children more than one language from a young age.~

    ==============================================
    Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power
    by Gretchen Cuda-Kroen
    Source

    In an interconnected world, speaking more than one language is becoming increasingly common. Approximately one-fifth of Americans speak a non-English language at home, and globally, as many as two-thirds of children are brought up bilingual.

    Research suggests that the growing numbers of bilingual speakers may have an advantage that goes beyond communication: It turns out that being bilingual is also good for your brain.

    Judy and Paul Szentkiralyi both grew up bilingual in the U.S., speaking Hungarian with their families and English with their peers. When they first started dating, they spoke English with each other.

    But they knew they wanted to raise their children speaking both languages, so when things turned serious they did something unusual they decided to switch to Hungarian.

    Today, Hungarian is the primary language the Szentkiralyis use at home. Their two daughters Hannah, 14, and Julia, 8 speak both languages fluently, and without any accent. But they both heard only Hungarian from mom and dad until the age of 3 or 4, when they started school.

    "When she did go to preschool that accent was very thick she counted like Vun, two, tree," said Judy Szentkiralyi, recalling Hanna's early experience with English. "And by the time four or five months went by, it was totally gone."

    Dispelling Confusion Around Bilingualism
    The Szentkiralyis say that most people were supportive, but not everyone. Paul recounts an uncomfortable confrontation Judy once had in the local grocery store.

    "I remember one time you came home and you said this one lady was like, 'When is she going to learn English?' And it was like, 'Well, when she goes to school she'll learn English,'" he said.

    "People would often say, 'Well, won't they get confused?" added Judy. "And I would have to explain, 'Well, no, it wasn't confusing for us.'"

    The idea that children exposed to two languages from birth become confused or that they fall behind monolingual children is a common misconception, says Janet Werker, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who studies language acquisition in bilingual babies.

    "Growing up bilingual is just as natural as growing up monolingual," said Werker, whose own research indicates babies of bilingual mothers can distinguish between languages even hours after birth.

    "There is absolutely no evidence that bilingual acquisition leads to confusion, and there is no evidence that bilingual acquisition leads to delay," she said.

    Werker and other researchers say the evidence to the contrary is actually quite strong. Instead of holding you back, being bilingual, they say, may actually be good for you.

    Tuning In To The Right Signal
    Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist from York University in Toronto, says the reason lies in the way the bilingual mind uses language.

    "We don't really know very much in psychology," said Bialystok. "But the one thing that has been so overwhelmingly proven, that I can say with great certainty, is this: For a bilingual who really has two good languages that they use, both of them are always active."

    In other words, no matter what language a person is speaking at the moment, both languages are active in the brain.

    "The evidence is very dramatic. Even if you are in a context that is utterly monolingual, where you think there is absolutely no reason to think about Chinese or Spanish or French, it is part of the activated network that's going on in your brain," she said.

    This means that bilinguals have to do something that monolinguals don't do they have to keep the two languages separate. Bialystok likens it to tuning into the right signal on the radio or television: The brain has to keep the two channels separate and pay attention to only one."

    The brain has a perfectly good system whose job it is to do just that it's the executive control system. It focuses attention on what's important and ignores distraction. Therefore, for a bilingual, the executive control system is used in every sentence you utter. That's what makes it strong," said Bialystok.Remodeling The Brain?Constantly engaging this executive control function is a form of mental exercise, explains Bialystok, and some researchers, including herself, believe that this can be beneficial for the brain. Bilingual speakers have been shown to perform better on a variety of cognitive tasks, and one study Bialistok did found that dementia set in four to five years later in people who spent their lives speaking two languages instead of one.

    "They can get a little extra mileage from these cognitive networks because they have been enhanced throughout life," said Bialystok.

    And the advantages of bilingualism may be due to more than just "mental fitness." Bialystok says there's some preliminary evidence that being bilingual may physically remodel parts of the brain. It's something researchers are only beginning to look into, but she says there is reason to believe that speaking a second language may lead to important changes in brain structure as well.
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    Gladiator
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    ....heard asian languages are most difficult...

    ah figure learning to write it will be even more difficult ...

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    Registered User Inquistive is offline
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    Learning two languages is useless unless it's essential to move up the social ladder.


    I don't buy the article at all.

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    LB
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    the article is talking about the effect on the brain from the process of learning a language. Its focus isnt on the do with the external "usefulness" of a language but the indirect effect it has on how your brain works in general. Learn to read.
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    Registered User Inquistive is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladybug View Post
    the article is talking about the effect on the brain from the process of learning a language. Its focus isnt on the do with the external "usefulness" of a language but the indirect effect it has on how your brain works in general. Learn to read.
    I fully understood the article. It brought forward no data or biological evidence. Hence, why I mentioned there is no benefit in learning a second language unless it has a social benefit.

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    LB
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    the article makes it clear it has been researched. If you want more details as to what that data is, go to the medical journals where they post their more detailed data for other scientists. There is tons of information on the subject matter out there for you to find.
    They stated their conclusion from their data research but you of course know better.
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    17 61 Ingram_Gordon's Avatar Ingram_Gordon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladybug View Post
    the article makes it clear it has been researched. If you want more details as to what that data is, go to the medical journals where they post their more detailed data for other scientists. There is tons of information on the subject matter out there for you to find.
    They stated their conclusion from their data research but you of course know better.
    you know is not dat you want say..

    cuss him jamaican style and show him your bilingual skills..
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    Radiant Silvergun rayt2009's Avatar rayt2009 is offline
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    In all honesty, most of this article makes sense really. Especially in this day and age.
    "Giving up is hard to do
    When you really love someone
    Giving up .... so hard to do
    When you still depend upon
    Her warm and tender touch
    Her kiss and her hug..........her caress
    Oooooh that used to mean so much
    And bring you happiness"

    - Donny Hathaway

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    can u handle me? saucytrini's Avatar saucytrini is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladybug View Post
    the article makes it clear it has been researched. If you want more details as to what that data is, go to the medical journals where they post their more detailed data for other scientists. There is tons of information on the subject matter out there for you to find.
    They stated their conclusion from their data research but you of course know better.
    why you bothering ..you know his source of 'relevant' info is youtube and wikipedia...

    good find Lady Bug...

    It's sometimes fun to watch my friend switch between french, spanish and english....her brain has to process which is which....
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    Banned MR.BOOMBASTIC's Avatar MR.BOOMBASTIC is offline
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    honestly i know so many bilingual ppl, more than i can count. whether it be my family dat speak creole from dominica, my african friends or my asian friends, and jus cus dey speak another language; for sure that dont make them extra smart. i know de article say may, but at de end of de day if ur smart i think ur smart. pickin up a 2nd language is easier than it may seem especally when u are emmersed in it and forced to learn it. ask dem to do some math or science and see how dey do; then i will give dem dey props. but nonetheless, it definately dont hurt, especially at a young age, it can only help them develop they brain.

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    Registered User Inquistive is offline
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    You seet@BK

    What does their brain power make them do better than those who are monolingual? The article does not make it clear. As far as alzeimers(did I spell that right?), I don't buy it because my grandfather was diagnosed with it in his mid 70s despite him being bilingual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optimizm View Post
    You seet@BK

    What does their brain power make them do better than those who are monolingual? The article does not make it clear. As far as alzeimers(did I spell that right?), I don't buy it because my grandfather was diagnosed with it in his mid 70s despite him being bilingual.
    i get what dey tryna say, but it basicaly comes down to, de more u use ur brain, the better it will be. but theres lots of other ways u can use your brain other than just learning a 2nd language. like i said it don't hurt tho

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    Earth Angel dollbabi's Avatar dollbabi is offline
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    Good article. Very interesting to see how beneficial being bilingual may be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ladybug View Post
    the article is talking about the effect on the brain from the process of learning a language. Its focus isnt on the do with the external "usefulness" of a language but the indirect effect it has on how your brain works in general. Learn to read.
    Basically.

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    Banned Capitaine is offline
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    Make you wonder why i am so smart

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    Registered User Steupz's Avatar Steupz is offline
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    Didn't seem to make the case for the headline.
    And using 'may' suggests they never really believed it in the first place.

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