Category Archives: Bilingual News

Balanced Bilinguals

A new study has found that bilingual children of immigrants in the US could expect to earn between $2,000 and $5,000 more annually than children who speak only English.

The research, published jointly by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Educational Testing Services found that those adept at two languages, or “balanced bilinguals”, also had a greater chance of pursuing higher education and more highly-paid jobs.

The study concluded that bilingualism among the children of immigrants in the United States represents a previously untapped national resource.(source)

Bilingual Books: English-French, English-German, English-Portuguese , English-Japanese

Raise Bilingual Kids

-Even if your child doesn’t understand all the words, the language will sink in over time if you read to him every day.
-Give your favorite board games a new spin by playing them in Spanish. Twister, Trouble, and Sorry! are all great for color and number practice.
-Because songs are filled with rhyme and alliteration, they reinforce
the sounds of a second language. By singing along, kids realize how certain words are highlighted while others are minimized.(source)
Bilingual Books: English-French, English-German, English-Portuguese , English-Japanese 

Do you consider multilingualism as a kind of elite mental training?

Researchers have found that bilinguals have better executive function (control over attention and the planning of complex tasks).
It has become fashionable to consider multilingualism as a kind of elite mental training. The question is not settled, though, for many studies have not been successfully replicated. Nor is it yet clear precisely which kinds of language skills and exposure make people better at exactly which tasks.(source)

Interesting comments:

-If you have more than one language you are forced to do a little more abstract reasoning such that you can connect the two ways of expressing the same idea.

-I don’t agree that exposure to multiple languages is confined to an elite. Just take as one example emigrant children. They grow up with their native language often spoken at home, whilst attending school and participating in the social fabric in the language of their ‘adopted’ country. That gives them valuable bilingual skills.
-a strategy for peace on earth? Make every child at a certain age or two, spend a summer with a family on the other side of the earth. Exposure to other races, cultures, religions, languages, is worth its weight in diamonds.

-One advantage not mentioned is the enrichment one gets from being able to read books from different cultures!

-Think of it this way: A language is just a means to express what one has in ones’ head. What one has in one’s head is what one sees, hears, smells, taste and feels – the five perceptual senses.
Eventually, thinks.
The more languages you know or are exposed to, the more keenly your perceptual senses develop. There is a lot of room in the head for languages. Every child can do it easily. The learning facilitates the healthy development of the brain.
Languages also come in different forms. Music is a language. Art is a language. Mathematics is a language. Law is a language.
People get intimidated too easily by languages. And they form a mental block to resist the learning of a language. The most effective block is to denigrate that which they can’t learn or think or are told they can’t learn.

Being bilingual does result in increased earnings and better educational outcomes

A labor market advantage to being bilingual in the U.S.

individuals with immigrant backgrounds who know both English and the language spoken at home—also known as “balanced bilinguals”—are more likely to earn more money than those who only speak English. They are also more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, enter higher status occupations and have more social networks. (source)

The bilingual format generates an environment of trust

A native Spanish speaker, María José Cid says it was difficult when she started giving speeches in English. “I suffered from a fear of public speaking and doing it in a second language was tougher than doing it in my mother tongue,” she says.

But eventually she became more comfortable and confident. Developing bilingual skills is vital in Spain, says Cid. “Current business and career demands make it a must for Spaniards to speak English.” The club’s format of alternating languages from one week to the next helps members greatly, she adds.
Nova Communication also helped one member, Pablo Ibáñez, CC, CL, with his stuttering problem. He’s now the club president. “My goal was to speak in front of an audience and stutter and not be fearful or ashamed of it,” says Ibáñez, who says support from club members helped him realize this goal as well as become more fluent in both languages.
source

Lip reading could be a vital skill for language learners of all ages.

In a new study of monolingual and bilingual infants, Northeastern University professor David Lewkowicz and colleagues found that babies do the same, shifting their gaze to a speaker’s lips when they hear unfamiliar languages. But babies raised in bilingual households spend significantly more time studying the mouth than their monolingual counterparts—which suggests that lip reading could be a vital skill for language learners of all ages.