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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Common toxins make big difference in brain development

The Star – Bruce Lanphear Erica Phipps Eric Crighton Barbara McElgunn

“A conversation has started in Canada that could mean a brighter future for our children. And not just by investing in education. This new conversation is about focusing our collective attention on a serious threat to tiny developing brains: toxic exposures.”(more)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stanford researchers bridge education and neuroscience to strengthen the growing field of educational neuroscience

Health Canal – Amy Adams

“As methods of imaging the brain improve, neuroscientists and educators can now identify changes in children’s brains as they learn, and start to develop ways of personalizing instruction for kids who are falling behind.”(more)

‘Lost’ first languages leave permanent mark on the brain, new study reveals

The Guardian – Holly Young

““Lost” first languages leave a permanent mark on the brain, a report this week has found. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the US, challenges the existing understanding that exposure to a language in the first year of a child’s life can be “erased” if he or she is moved to a different linguistic environment.”(more)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Learning a language is never a waste of time

The Telegraph – Nicholas Ostler

“Why do we choose to learn foreign languages, after all? There are some half a dozen basic reasons…First of all is practical usefulness, to reach across a language barrier…being bilingual improves your general intelligence, seeming to make the mind more flexible…those who promote language learning in Britain usually focus on what it might do for careers.”(more)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Infant’s Brain Maps Language From Birth, Study Says

Time – Melissa Locker

“…the language that an infant hears starting at birth creates neural patterns that the unconscious brain retains years later, even if the child completely stops using the language…What the study does suggest though is the importance of this early phase of language exposure…children start out as global citizens who turn their heads equally to all sounds and only later start to edit and become experts in the languages that they’re regularly exposed to.” (more)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Early Childhood Education That Focuses On Executive Function Improves Later School Performance

Medical Daily – Anthony Rivas

“Science is beginning to show more than ever that a child’s performance in school is largely dependent by how much they know prior to beginning kindergarten. According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds score 60 percent lower in cognitive tests than kids with richer parents. When it comes to math scores, poor black kids score an average of 21 percent lower than whites, while Hispanics score 19 percent lower. Pre-K and kindergarten classes are meant to balance these disparities, but curriculums and resources often vary between poorer and richer schools.” (more)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Neuroscience Improves Early Childhood Education Quality

The Huffington Post – Ellen Galinsky

“Executive function skills include children’s ability to avoid distractions, pay attention, hold relevant information in their working memories, and regulate their impulsive behavior. In explaining why executive function skills matter so much, Jack Shonkoff and his colleagues at Harvard University write:.” (more)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The 3 Best Ways to Boost Your Baby’s Language Development

The Huffington Post – Tracy Cutchlow

“Speak with your baby in a certain way, new research shows, and your baby is far more likely to pick up on language. The difference is big — more than double the vocabulary by age 2.” (more)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bilingual Benefits: How Learning Another Language Keeps Your Mind Sharp, No Matter Your Age

Medical Daily – Dana Dovey

“Speaking more than one language won’t just help you snag a date, it might also make you smarter. According to a recent study from Northwestern University, speaking more than one language constantly exercises the brain and makes it more prepared to take on other brain-challenging tasks. Recent figures estimate that only about 18 percent of Americans can fluently speak two or more languages, but if you’re in the overwhelming majority of those who don’t know a second tongue, don’t be discouraged. Picking up a second language isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think.” (more)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bilinguals have stronger, faster brains than the rest of us

Quartz – Sonali Kohli

“Learning another language is touted as a cure-all for all manner of things: dementia, distraction, over-parenting, to name a few. Now, thanks to two recent studies, there is evidence that language-learning actually sharpens your brain by changing its mechanics.” (more)