benefits of bilingualism

benefits of bilingualism - Published Online: October 22,...

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Published Online: October 22, 2010 Science Grows on Acquiring New Language By Sarah D. Sparks Premium article access courtesy of Edweek.org. Read more FREE content ! Printer-Friendly Email Article Reprints Comments (1) Article tools sponsored by: Recent studies on how language learning occurs are beginning to chip away at some long-held notions about second-language acquisition and point to potential learning benefits for students who speak more than one language. “We have this national psyche that we’re not good at languages,” said Marty Abbott, the director of education for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Alexandria, Va. “It’s still perceived as something only smart people can do, and it’s not true; we all learned our first language and we can learn a second one.”
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New National Science Foundation-funded collaborations among educators, cognitive and neuroscientists, psychologists, and linguists have started to find the evidence to back that assertion up. For example, researchers long thought the window for learning a new language shrinks rapidly after age 7 and closes almost entirely after puberty. Yet interdisciplinary research conducted over the past five years at the University of Washington, Pennsylvania State University, and other colleges suggest that the time frame may be more flexible than first thought and that students who learn additional languages become more adaptable in other types of learning, too. “There has been an explosion of research on bilingual-language processing,” said Judith F. Kroll, the principal investigator for the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain project launched this month at Penn State’s Center for Language Science in University Park, Pa. The five-year, $2.8 million project is intended to bring together neuroscientists, linguists, and cognitive scientists to compare the brain and mental processes of different types of bilingual people, such as a Chinese-English speaker whose languages include different writing systems or a deaf English speaker whose signed and written languages involve different modes of communication. Distinguishing Sounds
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course EDRE 4840 taught by Professor Lesliepatterson during the Spring '11 term at North Texas.

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benefits of bilingualism - Published Online: October 22,...

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