While some may think that this is not certain studies have proven otherwise. In The Power of a Bilingual Brain, Jeffery Kluger states that, “Research is increasingly showing that the brains of people who know two or more languages….. Multilingual people, studies show, are better at reasoning, at multitasking, at grasping and reconciling conflicting ideas.”(1) Clearly, a bilingual education places students a step ahead not only in their education careers but, as well as in their daily life’s outside school. Jeffery Kluger discusses how a bilingual brain is not necessarily smarter brain, but is a more flexible and practical brain. Evidently, demonstrating to us one of the many benefits of a bilingual
“Cognitive functions can be defined as cerebral activities that lead to knowledge, encompass reasoning, memory, attention, and language that leads directly to the attainment of information and, thus, knowledge” (What are cognitive functions). Many students at Doulos are unaware of the benefits of knowing two languages. Ironically students also don’t know that their own brain and its skills are improving because of their second language. Doulos teaches classes throughout the whole day in both English and Spanish. Students are regularly changing between languages and their brain is always active with both languages. “This constant practice strengthens the control mechanisms and changes the associated brain regions” (Marian, Viorica, and Anthony Shook). People who are bilingual are capable of switching between tasks more efficiently. “For example, when bilinguals have to switch from categorizing objects by color (red or green) to categorizing them by shape, they do so more rapidly than monolingual people, reflecting better cognitive control when changing strategies on the fly” (Marian, Viorica, and Anthony Shook). Students’ cognitive and sensory process skills are more developed due to being bilingual (Marian, Viorica, and Anthony Shook). These improvements allow students to better process and understand information in different environments, thus leading to better
Bilingualism and multilingualism are well practiced through the World. Despite it being well accepted on other parts of the globe, many areas in the United States tends to turn a cold shoulder to it.. Most education policies concerning bilingual or not based on scientific evidence and research (which has discovered the advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism) but rather pre conceived notions and stigmas when it comes to the practice. After some brief research, I believe we should embrace the "new wave" practices and policies, which are more well informed rather than the past. Researches also need to explore new ways in which the brain retains, recognizes and organizes language learning. Now is the tome to put evidence based practices and
In an article called “Being Bilingual Makes You Smarter” it states that “the bilingual experience improves the brain’s so-called executive function,a command system that directs the attention processes
Bilingual people are smarter than monolingual people. In fact, it is proven that bilingual people are more cognitively developed and receive higher scores in academics. However, this can be improved among monolingual students by teaching more foreign languages in American public schools. By raising foreign language requirements, monolingual students are forced to exercise new regions of their brains, thus improving brain function and academic performance. It is imperative to the cognitive and academic betterment of American students that multiple foreign languages are taught in public schools.
Valian believes that while bilingualism is only one of the factors that may boost cognitive functioning and that data from children and young adults are currently inconclusive, a bilingual advantage seems to be present among older people. Indeed, as Valian (2014a) suggests, studying younger individuals is difficult per se because they are exposed to so many other activities that may enhance executive function. There are currently very few studies on bilingualism in the aging
According to a study by the University of Phoenix Research Institute, “demand for American workers who speak foreign languages- particularly Spanish and Chinese- will rise over the next decade”(“Rising Demand for Bilingual Workers among Employers”). As the United States continues to diversify, being bilingual or multilingual is becoming a key part to be successful in life. A student’s school education, beginning at the first day of kindergarten, is supposed to build and prepare a student for the future, so why is properly learning a new language not a priority from the start? The teaching of a foreign language should begin elementary school because learning at an earlier age is optimum for an easier and effective learning process and provides significant benefits that can last a lifetime.
In a research made by Peal and Lambert in 1962 showed the optimistic view of bilingualism and the positive effects it can have on children (Minami, 2001). This research concluded that bilingualism has positive effect in the domain of mental/cognitive flexibility superior to monolingual students (Minami, 2001). Students that are bilingual can selectively attend to relevant information. An example used in this article is when students are doing reading activities. Bilingual students are able to give a more detailed and concrete versions in both languages
The regular need to select a target language is argued to enhance executive control. We investigated whether this enhancement stems from a general effect of bilingualism (the representation of two languages) or from a modality constraint that forces language selection. Bimodal bilinguals can, but do not always, sign and speak at the same time. Their two languages involve distinct motor and perceptual systems, leading to weaker demands on language control. We compared the performance of 15 monolinguals, 15 bimodal bilinguals, and 15 unimodal bilinguals on a set of flanker tasks. There were no group differences in accuracy, but unimodal bilinguals were faster than the other groups; bimodal bilinguals did not differ from monolinguals. These results trace the bilingual advantage in cognitive control to the unimodal bilinguals experience controlling two languages in the same
The perception of bilingualism has evolved over the ages in the world of bilingual research; from being viewed as a handicap and a disadvantage, to a completely positive and advantageous attribute over monolinguals. It is believed that being bilingual has led to many positive effects on the brain. Bialystok et al. (2012) supported this by stating that speaking two languages on a regular basis will leave a good impact on cognitive ability and also enhances the executive-control functions throughout the lifetime. Michelon (2006) defines cognitive ability as the skills needed by the brain in order to carry out a daily task of any degree, these skills include flexibility, attention, memory, and executive functions. In addition, Doyle (2017) describes
As I have mentioned before, my school district took a transitional bilingual education approach with bilingual and ESL students. Students were expected to learn English and assimilate, leaving their native language and culture behind. The expectation was that a student was succeeding when they spoke, read, and wrote English perfectly and understood all aspects of American culture. In summation, when they were the all-American child (or teenager if they were “a little slow”). In high school, ESL students were not even allowed to participate in sports because “academic success should be a priority and obviously if students were still in ESL classes they were not up to par with their peers. They could have straight A’s and this would still not
Bilingualism itself can be held responsible for increased levels of executive control and higher brain plasticity. In order to maintain a balance between two languages, the bilingual brain depends on executive functions, a monitoring system of general cognitive abilities that includes processes such as attention and inhibition. Laurent et. al 2010 aimed to determine bilingual experience enhances the development of phonological awareness. Children were exposed to early learning of a second language between the school grades 3-5 in primary school, ages ranging from 8 to 10 years old. The goal of this study was to promote the concept of “bilingual advantage” (Laurent, 2010) as researchers measured exactly how long children required second language exposure in order to influence phonological awareness. These researchers expected that after 4 years
Elizabeth Peal and Wallace Lambert published a monograph titled “The Relation of Bilingualism to Intelligence” in 1962. They directed research in Montreal with 10-year-old children where they analyzed the performances of monolinguals to bilingual speakers of French and English on standardized tests of intelligence. Before this study was conducted, bilingualism was thought of negatively because there was concern around bilingual children and the disadvantages of learning two languages at once. Some disadvantages included lower intelligence, a “language handicap”, poor linguistic capabilities, more grammatical errors, reduced vocabulary, among numerous other factors researchers believed to be true. Peal and Lambert’s discoveries were the first research study that contradicted the negative opinions noted previously in research and underlined the positive effects of bilingualism in relation to cognitive development. Studies after Peal and Lambert’s continued to show that bilingualism has more positive, beneficial outcomes rather than focus on the negative ones. These positive outcomes include better cognitive control abilities, improved executive functioning, and protection against cognitive decline. Therefore, knowing two languages is greater than knowing just one.
The structure of the brain serves as a visual aid in understanding the “architecture of language networks”, while the functions explain how these networks are aligned through different contexts or personal experiences (Wong, Ying & O’Brien, 2015). Several studies indicate that bilinguals have a select advantage over monolinguals in the capacity of their cognitive abilities, which results from their language experiences. Bilingual individuals constantly select and omit specific words when switching between their first and second languages. Therefore, this ability enables them to surpass monolinguals when performing tasks analogous to executive functioning (Wu & Thierry, 2013). Executive functions define functions that help individuals manage everyday tasks. While there are many different aspects of executive functioning, the main ones that are pertinent to language are inhibition, shift and update. Inhibition refers to the ability to stop an automatic, behavioral response when necessary, and shift refers to the ability to move freely between tasks or situations. Lastly, update correlates to the capacity to retain information in the brain (working memory) and replace it with newer information when necessary (Wong et al, 2015).
Language is one of mankind’s most powerful inventions. From the scribbles in caves, thousand-page stories of a French Revolution, to men and women standing in front of thousands eager to listen; the written, spoken, and oration of language is a vital component of the human experience. Interestingly, the greater an individual’s mastery of language the greater his or her ability to understand the world itself, and more importantly those that live on it. The following is going to be an in-depth analysis of the impact multilingualism has on an individual’s perception, exposure, and appreciation of foreign culture. First, multilingualism has several benefits to people without taking culture into account. The difference in neural activity between monolingual and multilingual speakers has shown the later to have a marginal advantage over the other. Research shows this advantage as a result of the brain’s executive function. (Diamond 1-3) This portion of the brain relates to intelligence, it affects a person’s memory, attention, forethought, impulse control, etc. The executive function of the brain is especially active in bilinguals, but what causes this phenomenon? Simple, the constant competition between two or more languages presents a level of exercise within the brain that monolinguals do not experience. So, the mental stress of alternating between two languages increases one’s mental acuity and ability.