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Power of the Bilingual Brain

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Thursday, August 29, 2013

The state of Utah has been proactive in educating its young and preparing them for a competitive future.  Students are reading, speaking, joking and singing in Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese. The endeavour has been described as “one of the most ambitious total-immersion language-education programs ever attempted in the U.S.” It started in 2009 in 25 schools, and this fall (2013) will include 20,000 kids in 100 elementary schools. The ambitious venture has little to do with preparing kids for the global market place. A recent issue of Time summarized the motives:

“Research is increasingly showing that the brains of people who know two or more languages are different from those who know just one—and those differences are all for the better. Multilingual people, studies are showing, are better at reasoning, at multitasking, at grasping and reconciling conflicting ideas. They work faster and expend less energy doing so, and as they age, they retain their cognitive faculties longer, delaying the onset of dementia or even full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.”

Jeffrey Kluger, “The Power of the Bilingual Brain”, Time, July 29, 2013

Photo: myfrenchcountryhome CC 

Complete Time article on pdf:

“Being bilingual may delay Alzheimer's and boost brain power” http://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/feb/18/bilingual-alzheimers-brain-power-multitasking

Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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