Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
Study: Bilingual Infants Can Distinguish Unfamiliar Languages
Here’s two new studies on bilingualism.
Infants raised in households where Spanish and Catalan are spoken can discriminate between English and French just by watching people speak, even though they have never been exposed to these new languages before. Read more about it here.
The psychologist who conducted the study, Janet Werker has previously shown that bilingual infants can discern different native languages at four, six and eight months after birth. While monolingual babies have the ability to discern two languages at four and six months, they can no longer do so at eight months.â€
The overall conclusion is that human infants are equally prepared to grow up bilingual as they are monolingual. It is just us monolingual societies that start asking questions on whether being bilingual is confusing, or will detract from each language’s development, out of our own lack of understanding about bilingualism.
And here’s another study, but its findings are not something new. Bilingual kids are better multi-taskers because they make better use of their memory and have sharper brains, which also helps to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Read more about it here.
Even if I have heard the findings before, it is still encouraging that more studies are finding the same results.
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