Friday, April 13, 2012

Inspiration from L

Inspiration from Languages


Moms worry. Thats what they say. I guess it's true. I have a beautiful, bright and healthy two year-old,and I'm still scared to death that I'll mess him up.

Since my husband is French, our little guy is learning two languages. He understands both, says a few words in both and doesn't articulate in either. I'm not super worried about his limited language skills, but we struggle to understand what word he is aiming for, and in which language. His word for cereal or céréale, resembles "gungun," for example.

Recently, I read this article from the New York Times, called The Benefits of Bilingualism.
It speaks of studies done with toddlers, showing that being bilingual increased their cognitive skills. They were able to adapt more quickly to changes and to resolve internal conflicts (like sorting colored shapes into bins of the opposite shape or color) more easily.

Other studies showed that bilingualism in older adults retarded symptoms of Alzheimer's, including dementia.

This article from Concordia University says bilingual toddlers excelled in tests with distraction, possibly due to their experience with switching between languages. My son's phrases do usually end up being "C'est hot," or "Gâteaux, more?"

Reading these things encouraged me about my son's brain activity (although Bill Cosby has proved that all children are brain-damaged.) It was also inspiring to think what learning a third language would do for my brain activity. Spanish? Arabic? Mandarin?

Do you speak more than one language? How does it affect your life and writing? If you only speak one language, would you like to learn another? Why and which one? How do you want to do it?

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