What is Bilingualism?
Bilingualism (Bi means two) means having full knowledge of speaking and/or writing another language apart from your mother tongue. Keep in mind, this term doesn’t extend to those who speak more than two languages; they are called multilingual.
Benefits of Bilingualism!
Bilingual people are known to posses the benefit of having the knowledge of two languages. But apart from this, recent studies prove, that bilingual people are better than monolingual in many aspects of life. Be it mental development or a healthier life, it is the bilinguals who have a lead.
There are people who seem to believe that the knowledge of two languages are harmful for the brains. They seem to think that the knowledge of another language suppresses the working of the brain, hindering the development. They think that the processing of the brain grows slower due to the simultaneous working of two systems.
But it certainly isn’t so! Recent studies show that when a child learns two languages, the two different sets of information are stored into two separated compartments. Both of them work simultaneously, and sometimes instances have been noted that the working of one language causes an obstruction for the other ending the person up in perplexity, but mostly this is helpful; I don’t mean the state of perplexity but the working of the two sets of languages together.
How? you may ask. And we’re precisely here to tell you how!
It is also seen that people who have been exposed to bilingualism since infancy are more benefitted compared to those who’ve stepped into the group at a later stage. Though, even they have advantages over the monolinguals but they aren’t as high as the older bilinguals.
Stating the benefits of bilingualism, we’ll go along exploring the reasons too!
As stated before, bilinguals have both the language systems active concurrently which results in them having to change from one to other at quiet a fast rate, this results in their cognitive brain being flexible and reflex. This consequences in the bilinguals to do calculations at a fast rate. They develop a much more logical brain and can understand mathematical concepts better. They could even come up with multiple solutions to a problem. All in all, cognitively they are very good, crossing monolinguals.
To prove this, a study was held in 2004 by psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee. Monolingual and bilingual preschoolers were told to sit in front of computers provided with a page open which contained circles of red and triangles of green. They were told to place the circles and triangles in respective bins provided, first according to their colors and second according to their shapes. The bilinguals were able to do it at a much faster rate as compared to monolinguals.
Children belonging to bilingual households are able to maintain strong ties with both the communities. They are able to make friends in both the communities. An exposure to different cultures creates a heap of different sayings, knowledge of different idioms, poetry, movies, etc. in their minds. It also helps the person to have the knowledge of both the literatures, making him culturally rich.
Also, bilinguals are found to be much more adaptive. Because of the knowledge of different dialects, they develop a high self – esteem and confidence. In society, they are much more successful as compared to monolinguals and are able to communicate with a larger number of people, increasing their social circle. They can step out and be accepted in two diverse communities whereas monolinguals find it difficult to mix up with people whose language they don’t know.
Bilinguals have many intellectual benefits over monolinguals. They have better executive powers. They are seen to perform better in competitive exams. The reason as explored before is the reflexes of their brains! They are able to pick new languages easily. It is easier for them to learn knew spectrums and facts due to the vast range of lingual they have. They are even seen to ignore misleading or useless pieces of information that could be a very strong benefit since an early age.
Also when they have to prepare projects, or turn in assignments based on research, bilinguals are more precise because they have a vast package of knowledge available to them.
In the end, the ones scoring more are bilinguals!
Better scoring means better job opportunities. Bilinguals have a wider range of jobs available to them. Also, companies prefer hiring bilinguals as it enables them to communicate with a wider range of people. So, being a bilingual can help you win a seat over your opponent! Yes, it also matters sometimes what kind of languages you speak, if they are regional languages or two languages of different nationalities. People efficient in foreign languages can employ themselves as teachers, translators, diplomats, etc!
Health related benefits
Bilinguals being healthier? Unbelievable right? But numerous researches lead to the results that bilinguals have a better cognitive control over monolinguals. And they also have less chances of developing Alzheimer. Usually, they develop it at a much later stage of life as compared to monolinguals.
Bilingualism- a simple ability to speak two languages can make you rise up in many realms of life! Who thought belonging to a bilingual household can be a factor of success? But lo and behold, it is!