The Benefits of Bilingualism

June 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Learning in Mandarin

The New York Times has an interview with cognitive neuroscientist, Ellen Bialystok, who has discovered through her research that bilingualism has many cognitive advantages, including delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms:

Q. Many immigrants choose not to teach their children their native language. Is this a good thing?

A. I’m asked about this all the time. People e-mail me and say, “I’m getting married to someone from another culture, what should we do with the children?” I always say, “You’re sitting on a potential gift.”

There are two major reasons people should pass their heritage language onto children. First, it connects children to their ancestors. The second is my research: Bilingualism is good for you. It makes brains stronger. It is brain exercise.

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