Bilingualism - advantage or not?
Scientists recently said that the advantages of bilingualism are more important than ever.
People who speak more than one language can communicate with a wider range of people. Some statistics say that those people are smarter and more profound and that it can improve your cognitive skills.
What we didn't know is that scientist didn't think like this before, especially in the last century. They thought that knowing another language can badly affect on your brain.
The fact that has been proven is that when you are bilingual, your brain is activating both language systems, even when you are using only one language. But it would be a total mistake if we called it a handicap or something like that.
Bilinguals, for instance, seem to be more adept than monolinguals at solving certain kinds of mental puzzles.
A lot of studies suggest that being bilingual can improve some executive functions such as performing some mentally demanding tasks or solving difficult problems.
Also people who are bilingual are more focused. They cannot easily be distracted.
Bilinguals are also paying more attention to their environment. For example a child who has parents from different countries, who use different languages, has to speak with mother in one language, and with father in another one. So that means that he analyzed the environment, noticed that difference and now knows the difference in communication with mother or father.
The bilingual experience appears to influence the brain from infancy to old age.