Why Bilinguals Are Smarter
By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
The New York Times: March 17, 2012
SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.
Adventures of a Teenage Polyglot
By John Leland
The New York Times: March 9, 2012
Some people pick up a little Hebrew before their bar mitzvahs, or learn Spanish from their mothers, or can speak some Japanese from a semester abroad. Timothy Doner, 16, is not one of those people. In the fall of 2009, after studying for his bar mitzvah, he decided he wanted to learn modern Hebrew, so he continued with his tutor, engaging in long dialogues about Israeli politics. Then he felt drawn to learn Arabic, so after eighth grade he attended a summer program for college students at Brigham Young University. It took him four days to learn the alphabet, he said, a week to read fluidly.
From Finland, an Intriguing School-Reform Model
By Jenny Anderson
The New York Times: December 12, 2011
Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator and author, had a simple question for the high school seniors he was speaking to one morning last week in Manhattan: “Who here wants to be a teacher?” Out of a class of 15, two hands went up — one a little reluctantly. “In my country, that would be 25 percent of people,” Dr. Sahlberg said. “And,” he added, thrusting his hand in the air with enthusiasm, “it would be more like this.”
Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language
By Perri Klass, M.D.
The New York Times: October 10, 2011
Once, experts feared that young children exposed to more than one language would suffer “language confusion,” which might delay their speech development. Today, parents often are urged to capitalize on that early knack for acquiring language. Upscale schools market themselves with promises of deep immersion in Spanish — or Mandarin — for everyone, starting in kindergarten or even before.
The Bilingual Advantage
By Claudia Dreifus
The New York Times: May 30, 2011
A cognitive neuroscientist, Ellen Bialystok has spent almost 40 years learning about how bilingualism sharpens the mind. Her good news: Among other benefits, the regular use of two languages appears to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Dr. Bialystok, 62, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, was awarded a $100,000 Killam Prize last year for her contributions to social science.
Watch and Learn
By Riddhi Shah
The Boston Globe: September 19, 2010
Tiny, sun-soaked Khodi on the western coast of India’s Gujarat state is the kind of village where cattle still plough the fields and women fill clay pots with water from the village well. In the past few years, however, the town has been changing: Thatched mud huts are slowly giving way to sturdy, single-story concrete blocks; farmers conduct their business on cellphones. The state buses, which until a decade ago were only filled with men, are now crammed with women. Enrollment in the local school has soared.
Looking for Baby Sitters: Foreign Language a Must
By Jenny Anderson
The New York Times: August 18, 2010
When Maureen Mazumder enrolled her daughter, Sabrina, in a Spanish sing-along class a year ago, she hoped it would be the first step in helping her learn a second language. But the class did not seem to do the trick, so Ms. Mazumder decided to hire a baby sitter, one who would not only care for her daughter but also speak to her exclusively in Spanish.
BLACKBOARD; Subtitles That Aid Reading
By Steven Lee Myers
The New York Times: January 06, 1991
Closed-caption television, created a decade ago for hearing-impaired viewer, is increasingly being used to fight illiteracy. In elementary and high schools, adult reading programs and even prisons, educators have found that the captions, which appear on a TV screen much like subtitles in a foreign film, enhance reading skills of people struggling with reading or with English as a second language.