Accidental Advantage for Indian Students

I have long been in the habit of telling our TSRS students that they are incredibly fortunate to be growing up and learning in a multi-lingual (at least bi-lingual and tri-lingual for some) environment. They have usually looked at me a bit odd, never really sure whether to believe me on this. However, my logic came from certain books I had read on neuroscience, so it’s wonderful to see my understanding confirmed more widely as a result of some recent research:

The Daily Best Article on Bi-lingualism

As the article highlights, the key lies in the effects on ‘executive function’, developed in the pre frontal cortex. To have these functions develop earlier as a result of learning two languages in early years could represent a considerable learning advantage.

The article does highlight one potential downside – reduced vocabulary. However, in these days of mass media stunted minds, an increasing proportion of the population appear to be progressing fine without this hampering them in any way.

So, overall, my suspicion is that the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Sadly, for me, I grew up in about the worst place to have any true chance of acquiring bi-lingualism. Even when French lessons did start in the later years of primary school they were so poor that my abilities in that language are woefully inadequate. In the meantime, we’re even better armed now to convince our children to make the most of their bi-lingual environment.

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One Response

  1. The scientific background is very interesting. I have also always felt it was an advantage to be bilingual as it opens up more of the world to these children as they grow.

    My parents learnt 4 languages as children, unfortunately I am only fluent in one and am now trying to learn my native tongue as an adult, which s proving to be a very difficult task.

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