“Studies have shown that students who learn foreign languages in school actually realize other cognitive benefits that can make a difference in their academic career.” Arne Duncan is a proponent of language learning and exchange programs. Click here to read his interview with the Language Educator Magazine.
This article was featured in the October 2009 issue of the Language Educator. There was no autor cited (page 11). Consider teaching your child early. The more education your child receives between the ages of 0-5, the more brain development you promote.
European researchers are contesting the assumption that bilingual toddlers have more trouble learning language skills than children who know just one language.
“While the remarkable performance of children acquiring one language is impressive, many children acquire more than one language simultaneously,” says study author Agnes Melinda Kovács, a research fellow at the International School for Advanced Studies, in Trieste, Italy. “As bilingual children presumably have to learn roughly twice as much as their monolingual peers [because they learn two languages instead of one], one would expect their language acquisition to be somewhat delayed. However, bilinguals pass the language development milestones at the same ages as their monolingual peers.”
The ﬁnding, which appeared in Science magazine in print and online in July (www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/325/5940/ 611), resulted from a test of the responses to verbal and visual cues from 64 babies who were 12 months old. They came from monolingual and bilingual families, although the study did not specify which languages the families spoke. The toddlers were exposed to two sets of words that had different structural characteristics. After each word, the children viewed a special toy on either the left or right side of a screen, depending on the word’s structure. They then were presented with words they had never heard before but that conformed to one of the two verbal structures. No toy followed.
Researchers determined whether the infants had learned the word structures by measuring the direction of their gaze after hearing each new word. Judging by their eye movements, the bilingual kids did better in recognizing words than their monolingual peers.
“We showed that pre-verbal, 12-month-old, bilingual infants have become more ﬂexible at learning speech structures than monolinguals,” says Kovacs. “When given the opportunity to simultaneously learn two different regularities, bilingual infants learned both, while monolinguals learned only one of them.”
This means, she says, that “bilinguals may acquire two languages in the time in which monolinguals acquire one because they quickly become more ﬂexible learners.”
According to the study, the cognitive pathways developed during the learning of two languages might make bilingual children more efﬁcient in acquiring new information.
Because of the services that Habla Language Services offer, the Language Educator was interested in hearing more about how Habla LS reaches corporate America in their quest to learn Spanish. Click here for the August 2009 edition featuring “Language Learning on the Job.”
Habla Language Services also offers ESL (English as a Second Language) for businesses and individuals.
My goal is to post weekly on Wednesdays. Sorry it’s been a while since my last posting. Sometimes life just happens. I will have a stock pile of postings to take us through to the end of the year. Make sure to share this blog with others interested in best practices for language learning and reaching the Hispanic market.
Click here for the April 2009 edition of Language Educator Magazine featuring “Using Languages in Health Care” and how Habla Languages Services helps chiropractors and others do that.