Great news for all those language students out there! The latest medical research indicates that you might actually be improving your health by keeping mind degenerating diseases such as Alzheimer’s at bay. Not only that, but those of us who become bilingual are better at multitasking and priotising tasks than the rest of the population.
A team of researchers at York University in Toronto have been looking into the effects of bilingualism on the brain.
According to Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist working on the project, “Being bilingual has certain cognitive benefits and boosts the performance of the brain, especially one of the most important areas known as the executive control system. We know that this system deteriorates with age but we have found that at every stage of life it functions better in bilinguals. They perform at a higher level. It won’t stop them getting Alzheimer’s disease, but they can cope with the disease for longer.”
The study suggests that bilingual speakers can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s for an extra four years when compared with monolingual speakers. Early results from the research even suggest that learning additional languages may help to change brain size!
It seems that learning a second language really is an investment in your future – in more ways than one! Visit the following Guardian article for more details regarding this research.