What being bilingual does to your brain

April 10, 2016

The Independent reports:

The difference between the brains of bilingual and monolingual children can be seen as early as 11 months of age, a study has found.

Bilingual children showed more activity in areas of the brain related to 'executive function', which governs tasks such as problem-solving or shifting attention.

"Our results suggest that before they even start talking, babies raised in bilingual households are getting practice at tasks related to executive function," said Naja Ferjan Ramírez, the lead author of a paper about the study.

"This suggests that bilingualism shapes not only language development, but also cognitive development more generally."

In research published in the journal Developmental Science, researchers used an MEG machine to measure the magnetic fields produced by electrical currents in nerve cells in the brains of babies.

The study used 16 11-month-old babies, eight from English-only households and 8 from Spanish-English bilingual households.

They listened to an 18-minute stream of speech sounds - such as "da's" and "ta's" - which included sounds specific to English or Spanish.

When comparing the brain responses between monolingual and bilingual babies, the researchers saw an obvious difference in the brain regions associated with executive function.

To read the rest of the article and see associated clips, click here.

MORE News
SBS National Languages Competition Awards
MEDIA RELEASE: 14TH NATIONAL COMMUNITY LANGUAGE SCHOOLS CONFERENCE BEING HELD IN PERTH -- AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS

The 14th National Community Languages Schools Conference held in Perth on Saturday October 7, 2017 at the Community Catholic Education Centre, attracted over 200 participants from over 30 communities - a collage of language and cultural backgrounds.

14Th National Community Language School Conference

Saturday, October 7th, 2017 Theme: Community Language Schools - Providing quality linguistic and cultural experience. An Invitation to all community language school instructors teachers, administrators and community leaders nationally.

All NEWS

happy_baby

Other Events