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Research trend: The brain benefits of learning and speaking a second language

scientist brain experiment

What hap­pens in the brain when you learn a lan­guage? (The Guardian):

Learn­ing a for­eign lan­guage can increase the size of your brain. This is what Swedish sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered when they used brain scans to mon­i­tor what hap­pens when some­one learns a sec­ond lan­guage. The study is part of a grow­ing body of research using brain imag­ing tech­nolo­gies to bet­ter under­stand the cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits of lan­guage learn­ing…

Brain imag­ing research may even­tu­al­ly help us tai­lor lan­guage learn­ing meth­ods to our cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties, telling us whether we learn best from for­mal instruc­tion that high­lights rules, immers­ing our­selves in the sounds of a lan­guage, or per­haps one fol­lowed by the oth­er…

How­ev­er we learn, this recent brain-based research pro­vides good news. We know that peo­ple who speak more than one lan­guage flu­ent­ly have bet­ter mem­o­ries and are more cog­ni­tive­ly cre­ative and men­tal­ly flex­i­ble than monolinguals…Even more encour­ag­ing is that bilin­gual ben­e­fits still hold for those of us who do not learn our sec­ond lan­guages as chil­dren.”

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning

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