What are the advantages of bilingualism?
“Bilingualism is the ability to speak or write fluently in two languages.” – The Canadian Encyclopedia
In Canada, being bilingual is more common than in other countries due to its two official languages: French and English. Canadian instructions on food packaging at the supermarket, and signs around the city, are generally written in both languages. However, speaking, writing, thinking or dreaming in more than one language could also be enhanced thanks to the brain’s constant activity. So what are the real advantages of being bilingual?
Boosts cognitive performance
Many scientists who study linguistic development talk about “the bilingual advantage”. When a bilingual person has to solve a conflict, he/she will think in two languages. This flexes the cognitive muscles. This in turn improves the working memory and one’s ability to switch attention from one thing to another.
The most specialized scientist in bilingualism is Dr. Ellen Bialystok, Rotman Research Institute Associate Scientist, Professor of Psychology at Toronto’s York University, and Officer of the Order of Canada since 2016. Her research shows that bilinguals are better than monolinguals at tasks that require controlling several goals in mind at once. Multi-tasking and avoiding distraction during tasks are such examples. Read more about Dr. Bialystok’s research here.
Improves linguistic skills
When you are already bilingual, it’s easier to become multilingual. Your brain already knows how to learn new words and switch quickly between different languages. Scientists have proven that bilinguals have better listening and communication skills than monolinguals.
Protects against Alzheimer’s disease
Between 2008 and 2010, Dr. Ellen Bialystok wrote a research paper on “the effect of lifelong bilingualism on the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease”. Her paper showed that bilinguals are better protected against symptoms of dementia and against the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Opens new horizons
Usually, when you are fluent in two languages, it is because your parents are from different countries. If you are lucky, your mom speaks one of the most-spoken languages in the world, Chinese, and your father speaks another, English. Now, you can easily talk to half the planet!
Good grades at school
Of course, when you already know a second language and you have to study it at school because it’s part of the curriculum, you will definitely get good grades!
How LingoStar can help
At LingoStar, we cooperate with professional translators all over the world who can provide translation services in over 100 languages, and many of them are multilinguals. We work with texts, videos, websites, and other content to help our clients improve their business. Make sure you get a free quote or feel free to call us at 604-629-8420 or email us at email@example.com for more information.
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