Are you smarter if you speak more than one language? Great question! There is a ton of research in support of the cognitive benefits that learning multiple languages has on the brain. However, exciting new research is now showing evidence of increased problem solving, enhanced mental focus and better memory retention in Bilingual individuals. Below is an excerpt from a great article published in the NY Times on “Why Bilinguals Are Smarter”.
“SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. 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 wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.
This view of bilingualism is remarkably different from the understanding of bilingualism through much of the 20th century. Researchers, educators and policy makers long considered a second language to be an interference, cognitively speaking, that hindered a child’s academic and intellectual development.”
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