Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How Speaking Multiple Languages Benefits the Brain

Lighting- Hoboken, NJ 23 Jun 2015
Photo: Gary Hershorn
Many regular readers of this blog know that I am a co-founder of a 
Dual Language School in Hoboken, NJ. The program was originally intended to be part of the local public school district which I proposed as the then Assistant Superintendent but a local political group elected to the Board of Education rejected the idea of having a dual language program in their public schools. Today, six years later, the school has achieved statewide recognition, has won a number of awards, and has a waiting list a few hundred children long. The school district that rejected the dual language program? Well…the political group that rejected our dual language program and in full control of the local Board of Education is now engaged in a lawsuit claiming the school is taking too many students from the district(!), causing economic hardship, and would like to revoke both the renewal and expansion of the dual language school. 

Please watch this TedTalk video on the scientific research which examines how multiple languages benefits the brain. Its the kind of instruction we wanted in the school district and which is currently being implemented in Hoboken and in many other communities around the country. -Dr. Petrosino 

It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like traveling or watching movies without subtitles. But are there other advantages to having a bilingual (or multilingual) brain? Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.