Should all kids learn a second language?

New York times recently published an article on The Bilingual Advantage. The article sites research that studies the impact of constantly using 2 languages on neurological development. What is surprising isn’t so much that bilingual is a good thing for the brain, but more specifically

In terms of monolinguals and bilinguals, the big thing that we have found is that the [brain neurological] connections are different. So we have monolinguals solving a problem, and they use X systems, but when bilinguals solve the same problem, they use others. One of the things we’ve seen is that on certain kinds of even nonverbal tests, bilingual people are faster. Why? Well, when we look in their brains through neuroimaging, it appears like they’re using a different kind of a network that might include language centers to solve a completely nonverbal problem. Their whole brain appears to rewire because of bilingualism.

Among the benefits of bilingualism cited in the interview are:

  • Better multi-tasking abilities
  • Delay onset of Alzheimer disease symptoms
  • And a better ability to attend to important information and ignore the less important

In addition to these neurological benefits, in today’s multi-culture world, bilingualism is increasingly more important as a practical matter.

At 77SPARX Studio, with our 77CARDS and future products, we developed bilingual applications because we saw the needs in our own children and in the community around us. But we do hope that more people will join us on this journey.

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