I thought this could be of interest, since so many people in this group will have some interest in multilingualism, or work with others who are speakers of another language. It is great to speak two, or more, languages.
When thinking of the many benefits of multilingualism, or of learning a foreign language, health reasons may not cross one’s mind. However, last October, Discovery featured an article entitled Bilingualism Good for the Brain. The article highlighted the fact that “the longer a person has spoken two or more languages, the greater the cognitive effects.” Furthermore, it studies showed that “Speaking two or more languages appears to enhance executive function -- the ability to focus on the information needed to complete a task,” meaning more effectiveness in the workplace. In addition, the studies showed that “Bilinguals with Alzheimer's disease retained brain function longer than those who spoke only one language.” Now, while children who happened to be bilingual tend to have a smaller vocabulary in each language separately, putting both languages together, it actually turns out that the vocabulary can be more extensive.
These are just other reasons to be excited about learning another language, not to mention the ability to better connect to other cultures, or the ability to read literature in its original language, like El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha in Spanish.
Division of Education Programs
National Endowment for the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Room 302
Washington DC 20506
Ph: (202) 606 – 8387
Interested in Spanish teaching or learning, or simply interested in interacting with others intereseted in teaching foreign languages? Join our group: Recursos para docentes del castellano. A project of EDSITEment.