Wow, what an intriguing headline! It seems that at the moment everyday there are new studies being published regarding the countless benefits of growing up #bilingual. It not only makes us better communicators or hightens our ability to multi-task it may not have also long term health benefits.
"Trilingualism and full literacy in two languages is the goal for all students in Hong Kong's public education system. English and Chinese are taught at primary school and the city has at least 28 international kindergartens that teach in English and Putonghua - that's more than 70 per cent of preschools listed in the SCMP Good Schools Guide, reflecting strong demand for bilingual education among parents." What a great place for children to grow up in Hong Kong and to experience multilingual play in kindergartens and at home.Hongkong - a place where children traditionally grow up multilingually - does encourage and support early language acquisition for all their young pre-school and school children. If a language is acquired later in life the brain gets activated differently and the language cannot be acquired in quite the same way as a native speaker does.
The scientists are now equipped to measure more accurately activity in the brain and can prove some of their hypotheses. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Laura-Ann Petitto shares her findings:
"We also saw spillover into other content areas: better mathematical processing, better on tasks that required complex relations," she says. "So this big language area has a spillover effect into giving the child higher cognitive advantages. These advantages are preserved across the lifespan."
Another team's research is now finding that bilingual brains are better protected from Alzheimer's disease, she adds."
Our kids are very lucky today that we have access to so many wonderful educational and playful toys so that they can acquire new language skills in a more relaxed and fun way. Our team at "Discover English with Ben & Bella" has worked on an immersive multimedia English learning program which kids enjoy watching, interacting and playing with. Children love to use our sticker book over and over again or learn to sing along to English songs. Check out these fun games on our homepage: www.benandbella.com.