According to a new study, adults who grew up speaking two different languages may focus their attention compared to those who choose a second language later in life. This is one of the many cognitive benefits of being bilingual.
Research has shown that bilingual children are constantly switching between two languages in their brain, which increases “cognitive flexibility”, the ability to switch between different concepts or thinking about multiple concepts at once, And “selective attention abilities”, the mental process of focusing. One task or object at a time.
Other studies have shown that bilingual children can complete mental puzzles quicker and more efficiently than those who speak only one language. reason? Speaking two languages requires “executive functioning”, which is high-level cognitive skills such as planning, decision making, problem solving, and organization. Basically, this task is a workout for the brain.
In the new study, bilingual adults participated in an experiment that required viewing pictures on screen that moved slowly and paid no attention to changes. Adults who began to speak a second language as an infant were able to notice changes much faster than those who learned a second language later in life.
Bilingual children take advantage of many sources of visual movements, such as mouth movements, facial expressions, and subtle gestures “when raised as Dean D’Souza, study writer and psychology lecturer in more complex language environments.” Anglia Ruskin University said in a release.
The authors of the study wrote, “Babies in bilingual homes adapt to their more complex language environments by placing more samples of their visual environment and more weight on novel information.”
When children learn a second language at a young age (between 0 and 3), their brain is more plastic, which makes it easier.
D’Souza said that it is important that the mental benefits of introducing a new language are visible even as children grow into adulthood.
If you are monolingual, but are hoping to teach your children a second language, there are ways to introduce it to your home. For example, singing and listening to music in another language, watching educational-language TV shows and taking language classes are all opportunities to offer children in other languages, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
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