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How a second language can boost the brain: Being bilingual benefits children as they learn to speak –and adults as they age

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Author:  Skibba, Ramin

Hosted by:  knowablemagazine.org

Submitted by:  yorkfsl

Date Submitted:  April 12, 2021


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Language of Resource: English

Media Format: Website

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Several studies on the impact of learning a second language are examined, from children to older adults who are experiencing degenerative brain functions. Cognitive benefits stemming from changes in brain matter throughout ones life have been found to suggest being bilingual compensates for brain deterioration caused by Alzheimers and other dementia.
This article highlights the cognitive benefits of learning a second or third language that last throughout life. Children’s brains are thought to be more flexible than older adults and thus more adept at learning second languages. Studies show that learning a second language actually changes the make up of our brains, enhancing grey and white matter within the brain and leading to improved executive functioning and memory. A bilingual brain can compensate for brain deterioration caused by aging by using alternative brain networks and connections when original pathways have been destroyed.

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Education Level: Adult and Continuing Education, University – Graduate & Post-Graduate

Subject(s): Science & Technology Studies

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