Are Bilinguals Smarter?

I recently read an interesting article by the New York Times on bilingualism and the effects is has on a persons brain. Recent studies have shown that bilingualism, especially that developed as a child, has a tendency to strengthen that person's mental capabilities more so than monolinguals. This is different from many theories that emerged in the 90's saying children growing up in a multilingual household would have interference from more than one language. Scientists have found this is indeed true, multilingual households cause the brain interference from multiple languages, however that interference is now thought to be good.

Everyone has heard that mental puzzles like Soduku and word searches are good to exercise one's brain. Scientists now believe the same applies to the interference caused by multilingual households. Children growing up in that environment must switch back and forth between languages and words and must often act as translators. This constant barrage of information acts in the same way a Soduku or crossword does and helps keep the child's brain strong and well developed.

This breakthrough also explains why bilingual people tend to be better and certain kinds of mental tests, puzzles, and quizzes. Furthermore, the strain and exercise on the brain is thought to help prevent certain degenerative mental diseases like Alzheimers.

To read the full article, please see:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingu...

Comments

interesting

Submitted by on Fri, 2012-03-23 19:42.

Dear Emily :

I was very appealed to your post "Are Bilinguals Smarter?," because I’m a bilingual person that speaks both English and Spanish as a second language.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: "Children growing up in that environment must switch back and forth between languages and words and must often act as translators.” I think this is true because when I was younger I spoke to my mother in English and my grandmother in Spanish, so I didn’t live in a normal household having to speak only one language. I had to learn to speak both language to be able to express myself towards them.

Another sentence that I stood out was: " Furthermore, the strain and exercise on the brain is thought to help prevent certain degenerative mental diseases like Alzheimers." This stood out for me because I now know my chances of getting Alzheimer when I begin to age are lessened since I’m a bilingual. Also believe this is true since when you speak more than one language your brain is able to memorize more information, and weakens their chances of forgetting things when their brains are, so packed with information.

Your post reminds me when I was in Global class and my teacher was saying some beginning of words are used in many languages. For example, the word “mono” comes from the Latin root meaning one and the word “poly” also comes from the Latin root meaning many. One can infer what the words “mono” and “poly” mean if they are told what does monotheism and polytheism mean. The person will be able to say the belief in one God and the belief in many gods.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because this was an interesting article you read and hope to read other articles you have read like this in the future.

Intresting

Submitted by on Sun, 2012-03-25 12:04.

Dear Emily:

I enjoyed reading your post, "Are Bilinguals Smarter?," because I found it very interesting and I was interested in finding out that bilingual speakers are smarter than average people. One sentence that stood out for me is: "Recent studies have shown that bilingualism, especially that developed as a child, has a tendency to strengthen that person's mental capabilities more so than monolinguals." I found this sentence interesting because I speak 2 different languages and I am excited to find out that I am smarter than average people.

Another sentence that stood out for me is: "Everyone has heard that mental puzzles like Soduku and word searches are good to exercise one's brain." This is interesting because I don't even know how to play Sudoku but I play a lot of games that are based on strategy like chess and I hope these games make you smart as well.

Thank you for sharing your post. I look forward to reading another of your post because they are interesting to me and very useful.

Dear Emily, I loved your

Submitted by on Sun, 2012-03-25 22:59.

Dear Emily,

I loved your post, “Are Bilinguals Smarter?”, because it is very interesting how someone that knows more than one language can know others and figure out things. People that know more than one language can help them to have more communication with others and interact with more people.

One sentence that you wrote that stands out for me is “This breakthrough also explains why bilingual people tend to be better and certain kinds of mental tests, puzzles, and quizzes.”, because I think that it depends the person that is. I know for sure that knowing more than one language help the person to have more understanding;however; there are people that only speak one language and are figuring out thing and doing well on different things. It’s depends how the person is to determine, how smart they are and in what subject or material they are smart with.

Another sentence that I agreed with was “Recent studies have shown that bilingualism, especially that developed as a child, has a tendency to strengthen that person's mental capabilities more so than monolinguals. ” This stood out for me because it’s interesting of what can two or more language can help your brain.

Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. One time, my friend and I were talking on lunch. My friend and I were talking about how cool is knowing more languages. We were talking about how good it is to know more than one language because its could help us have a better understanding of things and interact with others.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because your writing grabbed my attention and was very interesting knowing your point of view.