Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The benefits of a bilingual brain
It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like traveling or watching movies without subtitles. But there are other advantages to having a bilingual brain. While bilingualism won’t necessarily make you smarter, it does make your brain more healthy, complex and actively engaged.
What does it really mean to know a language?
Language ability is typically measured in two active parts (speaking and writing), and two passive parts (listening and reading). While a balanced bilingual has near equal abilities across the board in two languages, most bilinguals around the world know and use their languages in varying proportions. And depending on their situation and how they acquired each language, they can be classified into three general types.
A compound bilingual develops two linguistic codes simultaneously, with a single set of concepts. If you learned two languages from the time you were very young, chances are you are a compound bilingual.
A coordinate bilingual works with two sets of concepts, for example, someone who speaks one language at home and another in school or with friends.
Finally, a subordinate bilingual is someone who learns a secondary language by filtering it through their primary language.
But, did you know a multilingual brain actually has more grey matter than a monolingual brain?
Watch and learn:http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-speaking-multiple-languages-benefits-the-brain-mia-nacamulli
Animation by Lisa LaBracio