Bilingual Babies

2 Mar

“What Bilingual Babies Reveal About the Brain” by Clara Maskowitz, LiveScience Senior Writer

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41854098/ns/today-parenting/from/toolbar

You should read this article about the benefit of exposing babies to more than one language. It is fascinating, encouraging, and helps me feel validated for all the effort I put into teaching my kids two languages!

Some parts that stood out to me in this article:

Rather than causing any difficulties, learning two languages at once may confer cognitive advantages to babies, including not just special auditory sensitivity, but enhanced visual sensitivity as well.

There’s some great work by Aggie Kovács and Jacques Mehler that shows that at 7 and 12 months of age, babies growing up bilingual are better able to switch rules. So if a baby is taught to turn their head in one direction in order to hear or see something interesting, they’ll do that well. But a bilingual baby at 7 months can then reverse the rule and learn to turn their head in another direction better than a monolingual baby can. And similarly, at 12 months they’re better [able] to learn two sets of rules.

 

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