Research: positive effect of bilingualism on children's brains

According to the scientists, communication skills in two or more languages have a positive effect on the gray and white matter of the brain. Bilingualism is vital for the developing brain of a child and improves cognitive functions in old age.

How does bilingualism affect children's language development.
How does bilingualism affect children's language development?

It is known from previous research that bilingualism has a positive effect on brain structure and cognitive ability in adults. Now an international team of scientists has shown evidence that a similar effect is observed in the developing brain. The findings are published on the University of Reading website.

The effect of bilingualism on the brain of children's

The team analyzed brain scans of children and adolescents who spoke two or more languages ​​and compared them to children who spoke only one language. Bilinguals have shown benefits in gray and white matter volume compared to peers who speak only one language.

The volume of gray matter decreases from an early age. Still, research shows less change in key areas of the brain during development with bilingualism.

They have more gray matter, and the amount of white matter increases during brain development, which suggests more effective communication between brain departments, the authors explain.

"This is the first work that provides convincing evidence (of the consequences of bilingualism) on the brain of children, not just adults. Perhaps, positive changes in adults have their roots in childhood," said the co-author of the study, Christos Placikas. 

In conclusion

Scientists emphasize the usefulness of learning foreign languages for the operation of the brain throughout life. Scientists also mentioned that adults learning foreign languages have a similar effect. 

So, if you played catch-up more often in childhood than caught up with foreign words, and now you want to pump your brain, nothing prevents you from catching up.

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