The Bilingual Advantage

 
Dr. Robert M. Kurtz, speech language pathologist states the following:
Growing up bilingual can be a tremendous blessing. In addition to the obvious benefit (i.e., the ability to speak and understandmore than one language), recent research has revealed a number of cognitive advantages to bilingualism. Bilingual children have been shown to have:

1.Better metalinguistic awareness (ability to identify and describe characteristics and features of language).
2.Better classification skills.
3.Better concept formation.
4.Better analogical reasoning.
5.Better visual-spatial skills.
6.Better storytelling skills.
7.Better semantic development.


From the Center for Applied Linguistics, learning a second language at an early age…
•Has a positive effect on intellectual growth.
•Enriches and enhances a child’s mental development.
•Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
•Improves a child’s understanding of his or her native language.
•Gives a child the ability to communicate with people he or she would otherwise not have had the chance to know.
•Opens the door to other cultures and helps the child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
•Gives the child a head start in language requirements for college.
•Increases job opportunities in many careers in which knowing another language is a real asset.

Some interesting reading on bilingualism:

•WebMD
•Informaworld.com
•Education Resources Information Center – ERIC.gov