Why it’s okay for bilingual children to mix languages

Few would consider mastering more than one language a bad idea. In fact, research points to a number of cognitive, economic and academic advantages in being bilingual. Parents who speak different languages understand the family home is an important setting to learn both, and seek various ways to help their children thrive bilingually. One of [...]

By |2018-06-21T10:25:52+00:00June 21st, 2018|Bilingual, Bilingualism, Children, Languages|0 Comments

On Living, and Thinking, in Two Languages at Once

People ask me whether I think in French or in English now that I’ve lived in the US a while. I lie when I answer this. I say it depends on what I’m thinking about—English for work, French for family and curse words. This answer is usually welcomed as logical: a language for the intellect, [...]

Bad language: why being bilingual makes swearing easier

My dad had a liberal philosophy of childrearing, but he would always tell us off for swearing. As a result, I grew up feeling very uncomfortable using swearwords. Or, at least, so I thought – when I first moved to Scotland, I noticed that it was actually very easy to swear in English. Interestingly enough, [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:22:03+00:00May 11th, 2017|Bilingual, Bilingualism|0 Comments

How bilingualism in movies is changing our cultural perception

More and more, we’re seeing languages besides English prominently featured in blockbuster films. But does bilingualism have a positive impact, or reinforce age-old stereotypes? How does the use of language in movies change the way we think about people? The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 20% of the American population speaks a language other [...]

By |2017-03-29T12:03:10+00:00March 29th, 2017|Bilingualism, Language, Movies|0 Comments

How you learned a second language influences the way your brain works

Over the past few years, you might have noticed a surfeit of articles covering current research on bilingualism. Some of them suggest that it sharpens the mind, while others are clearly intended to provoke more doubt than confidence, such as Maria Konnikova’s “Is Bilingualism Really an Advantage?” (2015) in The New Yorker. The pendulum swing [...]

By |2017-03-14T20:03:58+00:00March 15th, 2017|Bilingualism, Bilinguals, Language, The brain|0 Comments

6 Potential Brain Benefits Of Bilingual Education

Brains, brains, brains. One thing we've learned at NPR Ed is that people are fascinated by brain research. And yet it can be hard to point to places where our education system is really making use of the latest neuroscience findings. But there is one happy nexus where research is meeting practice: Bilingual education. "In [...]

Is Perfect Bilingualism Attainable?

Raising children to speak two languages is no easy feat. Parents often find themselves enrolling children in language immersion programs, exposing them to different languages at home, encouraging them watch cartoons in another language, and sometimes even hiring language tutors or nannies to speak to their kids in foreign languages. But does this process need [...]

Language Experts Encourage Universities To Make Students Bilingual To Combat Dementia

Professor Antonella Sorace, founder of the Bilingualism Matters Centre at Edinburgh University, said there was now good evidence to show that bilingualism could protect the brain in later life. Studies have shown that certain types of dementia appear up to five years later for people who speak a second language compared with monolinguists. It is [...]

By |2016-02-17T12:27:14+00:00February 17th, 2016|Bilingualism, Dementia, Language, Linguistics|0 Comments

How to make Australia more bilingual

Bilingualism has been associated with a range of benefits for young learners, from higher test scores to more creative thought processes and greater mental flexibility. Being bilingual has even been claimed to mitigate the impacts of socioeconomic status on students. However, the numbers of students undertaking language study in Australia is low, so is learning [...]

By |2016-01-16T17:23:00+00:00January 16th, 2016|Australia, Bilingualism, Language|0 Comments

Do Bilinguals Have Superior Cognitive Control?

The frequent switching between languages in bilinguals' brains has led many to ask whether this lifelong exercise also makes bilinguals better at controlling other mental processes, giving them a cognitive edge. That remains to be determined. But in a new study, researchers took a more nuanced look at cognition in bilinguals, and rather than focusing [...]

By |2015-10-28T17:20:35+00:00October 28th, 2015|Bilingual, Bilingualism, Bilinguals, Language, Linguistics|0 Comments