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Transcript of #bilinguaLanguage
The bilingual brain
-having or expressed in two languages
-using or able to use two languages especially with equal fluency
Most children have the capacity and facility to learn more than one language. Researchers say that there are advantages to being bilingual. These advantages might include:
-Being able to learn new words easily
-Playing rhyming games with words like "cat" and "hat"
-Breaking down words by sounds, such as C-A-T for cat
-Being able to use information in new ways
-Putting words into categories
-Coming up with solutions to problems
-Good listening skills
-Connecting with others
The advantages of being bilingual
Your brain may have developed some distinct advantages over your monolingual peers. New research into the neurobiology of bilingualism has found that being fluent in two languages, particularly from early childhood, not only enhances a person’s ability to concentrate, but might also protect against the onset of dementia and other age-related cognitive decline. These discoveries are leading to:
• A better understanding of how the brain organizes speech and communication tasks.
• Greater insight into how specific types of brain activity may prevent or delay dementia and other agerelated cognitive problems.
• More targeted and effective therapies for helping bilingual individuals recover their communication skills after a brain injury.
Language and cognition in bilingual children
There are many myths about bilingualism in children. Some educators have cautioned against the use of two languages in children, claiming that bilingualism causes cognitive, Social, and emotional damage to children. Although few scholars today would claim that bilingualism could cognitively harm children, this view has been advocated in the past, and can still be occasionally witnessed in the popular press and heard expressed even by some educators. This topic should be of great concern to those interested in foreign language education and to practitioners of bilingual education as well. Any decision about the soundness of pedagogical approaches involving two languages should be informed by the research base on the issues of bilingualism and cognitive development.
The claim that bilingualism would have any effect on cognitive ability, be it positive or negative, is based on the assumption that language is a central part of cognitive activity. The claim that bilingualism can cause a cognitive slowdown is based on the assumption that there is only so much information that can be processed by the child at any given time, and therefore attempting to learn two languages would, so to speak, blow some cognitive fuses. Theoretical issues such as these continue to be debated in the behavioral sciences, and their outcomes have influenced, and Language and Cognition.
In addition to theoretical concerns, there have been
societal concerns influencing research on bilingualism that
need to be considered. Indeed, the literature on the negative consequences of bilingualism on mental development can be traced back to social concerns at the turn of this century about
the quality of immigrants who happened to be bilingual. The debate in those days concerned not so much issues of mental development and psychology, but rather social issues concerning the new wave of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe that had begun in the late 19th century. Social scientists and educators reflected the concern of the public that these new immigrants were not adapting well into mainstream American society. As evidence, they pointed to the fact that the new immigrants were performing poorly on IQ tests, and that their children were doing poorly in the schools, again as reflected in standardized testing. Two opposing camps of psychologists attempted explanations of the cause of this adjustment