Why Bilingual

Cognitive Benefits

Recent research indicates that being bilingual may actually make people more creative and better at solving complex problems. Bilingual children can also benefit from a stronger working memory, the ability to hold facts in mind that aids in many skills, such as comprehending complex sentences or performing mental math efficiently. Bilingual children may also have an edge in executive function, or the ability to consciously direct their activities, which is highly correlated to success in school and in life! Recent studies have even shown that full bilingualism may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms as well!
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Academic Benefits

Sometimes parents worry that learning more than one language will confuse children, but research shows that in a supportive learning environment, children being raised bilingually follow the same patterns of language development and achieve the same milestones as monolingual children. In fact, bilingual education can increase children’s focus and selective attention skills as well as enhance their mental flexibility or the ability to manage ongoing changes. Multilingual learners tend to demonstrate a greater ability to learn more languages. This is because those who have learned a second, or even more languages, have developed skills that assist in the learning process. For example, based on previous experiences, children may be better at noticing similarities between languages and be better able to deal with differences between languages.


Research has found differences in the vocabularies of infant children learning multiple languages in comparison to infant children only learning one language. The vocabularies of bilingual infants are smaller in each language but as they are learning two or more languages, their vocabulary size is significantly larger overall. Learners of multiple languages can sometimes communicate using words and phrases from more than one language. This is called translanguaging and occurs when learners utilise all their linguistic knowledge to make sense of and interact with others. This process can sometimes result in minor errors, but it is a normal practice as children continue to develop language proficiency and draw on all the knowledge they have in order to communicate. This does not mean that they are confused or experiencing developmental delays in their language. It is a typical stage of learning for children who are learning more than one language.
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