Being Bilingual In Quebec Is Very Very Good For Your Brain
Photo cred - Shannon Lark
A new study conducted by researchers at England's Anglia Ruskin University has pretty much reconfirmed what everyone in Montreal already knows: being bilingual basically makes you a better person. In this instance, the study has found that bilingualism makes your brain more "fit" and better able to cut through distractions while accomplishing a task.
Grouping together a large number of students, half of whom spoke different languages along with English with the other half being strictly Anglophones, the study forced the participants to answer answer questions while being distracted by audio clips spoken in Greek and English. In both instances, the bilingual participants performed better then their monolingual counterparts.
To explain the findings the researchers agreed upon a commonly held theory, that bilingualism constantly puts your brain in a state of "mental exercise" that positively benefits thought processes. The constant act of thinking in two languages, forcing one to choose between different words, sentence structures, and expressions, makes a bilingual brain better able to suppress and block out distractions, thus making cognitive processes more efficient.
So, in a noisy room/public space with tons of people yammering away, a bilingual person would be better equipped to focus and not be bothered, without any adverse effects on their mental performance. Add this to the already large pile of reasons why speaking two languages is a good thing, in Montreal and everywhere else.
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