What You Acquire By Being Bilingual
Some studies indicated that toddlers may experience speech difficulties in a bilingual household, but that’s only the beginning of great benefits. Being bilingual serves you in many ways. Other than the ability to communicate with more people, you thinking skills are also affected by the language you speak. Here are a few ways being bilingual affects your brain.
Developing the brain’s executive control system
Bilingual people’s brains activate both languages as they speak. It as if the brain multitasks when someone is talking. The development of the brain’s executive control system enhances many functions the system is responsible for, such as switching attention and working memory. This reflects in real-life through switching between two tasks and being able to multitask.
Interpreting what others are thinking of
A research showed that children and adults who speak two or more languages show more ability to understand what others mean or want, as well as know their thoughts. The main reason is that they tend to perceive different types of people and accordingly use a specific language with them. That practice definitely has a crucial impact on their ability to understand different being and analyze their thoughts.
Recovering from brain injury
A study conducted on survivors of stroke in India showed that those who spoke two or more languages had twice the chance of cognitive recovery compared to those who spoke one monolinguals. This supports the idea that practicing and learning languages serves as an exercise to the brain that maintains its fitness.
Delaying Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for elders
Bilingualism helps maintain cognitive reserve in older people and results in delaying alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms for upto 5 years. Such a study had been supported by several thorough studies.
Are there any downfalls?
Although growing up in a household where two languages are used my delay speech for toddlers. However, after children get used to using both languages, benefits start to outweigh the disadvantages. One remarkable disadvantage is shown in a research that found monolinguals more expressive verbally than those who spoke two or more languages.