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Why it’s great to learn a second language

Health 24 – Staff Writer

“Is learning a second language on your bucket list? Here’s compelling evidence to get started right away. Numerous studies at institutions, including Penn State, have found that learning a new language is great for brain health. It can strengthen your brain just as exercise strengthens your muscles. And like muscles, the more you work at it, the stronger your brain gets.” (more)

Why Children Learn Foreign Languages So Easily?

Brain Blogger – Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD

“Many researchers believe that learning foreign language before the puberty and even better earlier allows children to speak more fluently, almost like native speakers. In addition, learning more than one language at early age improves lifelong ability to communicate with others and contributes to cognitive development and cultural awareness. Many studies suggest that the best time to introduce a foreign language is before the age of ten. At this early stage of life language is learned and acquired faster, retained better, and spoken with exceptional pronunciation. It is widely accepted that the younger the learners, the more successful they are at imitating new sounds.” (more)

I’m future-proofing my child with Chinese lessons – we should all be doing the same

The Age – Nicole Webb

“Research will tell you, learning any language at any age is beneficial and learning a language as a child should almost be a rite of passage. A study from Pennsylvania State University found learning a foreign language provides a competitive edge in career choices, enhances listening skills and memory and improves the knowledge of one’s own language. Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing and structure. As an added bonus, according to a Macquarie University senior lecturer in literacy in a multicultural society, Dr Robyn Moloney, is that “After learning a secondary language, subsequent languages are easier to learn – patterns can be recognised a lot faster.” So no matter the language my now six-year-old is learning, be it Italian, French or Spanish, I’m delighted. But, still, we’re keeping up the Mandarin. For her and for me.” (more)

The Importance of Being Multilingual

The Dickinsonian – Nadia Shahab Diaz

“Communication dominates our daily lives, whether it be at work, at home, abroad or in social settings. Thus, it is important to realize the impact that language has in our world and in how we interact with others. The United States, in particular, prides itself on being a melting-pot of cultures and histories. Its immigrant population boasts people from all over the world, bringing more languages and traditions to this country than I could possibly fathom. Yet, in my personal opinion, there still seems to be doubt towards the assimilation of languages besides English and a lack of prioritization when it comes to learning new languages, despite the many advantages that accompany multilingualism.” (more)

Why it’s great to learn a second language

Medical X-Press – Julie Davis

“Is learning a second language on your bucket list? Here’s compelling evidence to get started right away. Numerous studies at institutions, including Penn State, have found that learning a new language is great for brain health. It can strengthen your brain just as exercise strengthens your muscles. And like muscles, the more you work at it, the stronger your brain gets.” (more)

Bilingualism May Counteract Autism

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“According to a new study published in Child Development, bilingual children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are better at switching from one task to another than their monolingual peers. “This is a novel and surprising finding,” says Prof. Aparna Nadig, the senior author of the paper, from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Canada’s McGill University. “Over the past 15 years there has been a significant debate in the field about whether there is a ‘bilingual advantage’ in terms of executive functions. Some researchers have argued convincingly that living as a bilingual person and having to switch languages unconsciously to respond to the linguistic context in which the communication is taking place increases cognitive flexibility.” (more)