From Why Bilinguals Are Smarter by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
In a 2009 study (…), 7-month-old babies exposed to two languages from birth were compared with peers raised with one language. (T)he infants were presented with an audio cue and then shown a puppet on one side of a screen. Both infant groups learned to look at that side of the screen in anticipation of the puppet. But in a later set of trials, when the puppet began appearing on the opposite side of the screen, the babies exposed to a bilingual environment quickly learned to switch their anticipatory gaze in the new direction while the other babies did not.
(…) In a recent study of 44 elderly Spanish-English bilinguals, scientists (…) found that individuals with a higher degree of bilingualism (…) were more resistant than others to the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease: the higher the degree of bilingualism, the later the age of onset.
If you are interested, you can read the whole article here.
Read the questions below, think about them all and then choose ONE of them and write your answer (5-10 sentences).
1. Do you know a person who is fully bilingual? How has this person learned the two languages?
2. Have you ever heard of any problems connected with being bilingual? What problems are these?
3. What do you think: what does the term `bilingual` mean?