Why Bilinguals Are Smarter

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Scientist have recently found more benefits of being bilingual than just the advantage of being able to communicate with a wider range of people. In a recent study by the psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee (2004) bilingual and monolingual preschoolers were asked to sort blue circles and red squares presented on a computer screen into two digital bins — one marked with a blue square and the other marked with a red circle. The findings showed that the bilinguals were quicker at performing this task. Another similar study in 2009 by Agnes Kovacs of the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, 7-month-old babies exposed to two languages from birth were compared with peers raised with one language. The results were similar to the 2004 study. The babies exposed to a bilingual environment quickly learned to switch their anticipatory gaze in the new direction while the other babies did not.

Original Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingualism.html?_r=0

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