What are the benefits of a bilingual brain?
Besides making traveling easier, a bilingual brain also works differently. We explain how!
It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make your life easier on vacation or business trips . But are there more advantages? Yes! A bilingual brain also works differently!
Language ability is typically measured in two active parts, speaking and writing, and two passive parts, listening and reading. Even though balanced bilinguals have near equal abilities across the board in two languages, they use them in varying proportions. This depends on the age in which a second language language is learned.
Compound bilinguals develop two linguistic codes simultaneously (“simultaneous early bilingualism”) and work with a single set of concepts as they begin to process the world around them. Coordinate bilinguals work with two sets of concepts. For example, different languages are used at home and at school. Subordinate bilinguals learn another language by filtering it through their primary language.
Being multilingual is beneficial, regardless of age. Not only does it cause a higher density of the gray matter that contains most the brain’s neurons and synapses, it also causes more activity in certain regions. Bilingualism functions as a heightened workout for the brain. Throughout life, it can also help to delay the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia as much as 5 years.
Recent studies show that switching between languages causes more activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that plays a large role in executive function, problem solving, switching between tasks, and focusing while filtering out irrelevant information.
Bilingualism makes the brain more healthy, complex and actively engaged. Learning a foreign language is always a challenge. If you link emotions of varying sources such as vision, hearing or sense to a new language it becomes a lot easier. At alugha we form the perfect basis via multilingual videos in order to, for example, consolidate your language skills through singing or learn a language from scratch.
And if you didn’t have the good fortune of learning a second language as a child, it is never too late, because a little exercise can go a long way!