Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Multilingual Benefits

More and more studies are showing the benefits  of being multilingual, which even seem to impact one's rate of aging. When children are born into multilingual households, they learn all the languages to which they are regularly exposed. Infants can learn three or four languages or more. In the process of learning to speak, there are strong relationships between speech, song and music. Areas of the brain that are primarily concerned with music and language overlap considerably. A person’s native tongue even influences the way in which he or she perceives music. The same succession of notes may sound very different depending on the language the listener learned growing up.   Some suggest that children learn multiple languages more effectively when each parent selects one language in which to communicate with the children (e.g., Dad always speaks English, Mother always speak Russian; Mother always speaks English, Grandmother always speaks Spanish, Father always speaks Italian). This appears to impact both speed of learning and retention.

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