More than half the world's population uses two or more languages every day. Being bilingual has some costs, but many benefits.
Speaking more than one language has many social, psychological and lifestyle advantages. Moreover, researchers are finding a number of health benefits, including faster stroke recovery and delayed onset of dementia by as much as 5 years.
Being bilingual is a beneficial condition that one is NEVER TOO OLD nor TOO PROFICIENT to experience and develop.
Being bilingual alters your brain. How?
It’s well known that being bilingual has cognitive benefits: switching between two languages has been compared to mental gymnastics. But now, research suggests that mastering two languages can fundamentally alter the structure of your brain, rewiring it to work differently than the brains of those who only speak one language.
It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like traveling or watching movies without subtitles. But are there other advantages to having a bilingual (or multilingual) brain? Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.
The cognitive benefits of bilingualism are often shown by the so called Stroop effect, named after American psychologist John Ridley Stroop, in which bilinguals perform much better than monolinguals, with shorter reaction times. This can be explained by their better executive control and conflict resolution capacities. The conflict here being the colour name printed in a completely different ink colour.
Are you ready to take up the challenge? Click the start the game button!
All you have to do is click the colour and not the word.
How well were you doing? If you struggled to get it right, you should know why. To make a long story short, several conflicting mental processes were competing for your brain's attention, creating that mind interference you've experienced. One possible reason is that we can't unlearn how to read, so it's twice as easier to read the words as to name the colours the words are written in.
😄 Let's finish on a lighter note and laugh twice at these bilingual jokes 😄