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Which is why bilingual children are better able to concentrate

What a gift. If children from birth to absorb the words and sounds of various languages without having to rules of grammar, learn to train without their debat

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Which is why bilingual children are better able to concentrate

What a gift. If children from birth to absorb the words and sounds of various languages without having to rules of grammar, learn to train without their debate for many years. In the ideal case, they grow up and then to the small citizens of the world, the switch effortlessly between different languages and in different cultures feel at home. A recent study in the journal "Developmental Science" showed, however, that the advantages of multilingualism are even more fundamental than previously thought, almost as if someone is behind a nice Present would have hidden a lot better. Long-linguists know that bilingual people are learning an additional language easier and faster than monolingual – and reach a higher level.

It begins in a baby age

In the new study, however, cognitive scientists have observed that bilingual children the monolingual in a much more fundamental ability übertrumpften: babies from bilingual families were able to control their attention better and direct than others. "The results of the current study are highly relevant because they have an advantage of bilingualism that is negated in the everyday psychology often", says Angela Friederici, Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for human cognitive and brain Sciences in Leipzig. Survey

you grew up bilingual?

Yes
no
Vote

Yes

48.7%

no.

51.3%

156 votes

Yes

48.7%

no.

51.3%

156 votes


the canadian psychologist Ellen Bialystok of York University, examined Together with your colleagues, the attention of six-month-old infants, by recorded the eye movements of the babies. Half of the children grew up in a bilingual environment, the rest of the heard in everyday life. For the first experiments, the researchers placed 20 small subjects one after the other in a cradle. From there, the babies saw a picture in the center of a monitor, after another appeared on the left or the right side of the screen.

First of all, the sequence of images was purely by chance, only after 30 runs, the changed: A pink-and-white image in the middle is a green square with a red star followed always to the left. A blue-and-yellow image in the center of the red star at the castle, always on the right side. Every Baby graduated a total of 60 experiments. "All the children managed to equal masses, the sequence of images with their eyes to correctly predict," explain Bialystok and colleagues.

changes in the brain

These results of the cognitive scientist, served as the basis for their next experiments, this time with 40 babies. First, the infants saw the familiar pictures which they had learned in the first test series. However, after half of the Trials, the researchers broke with the of all children internalized rule. You suddenly changed the flow: On the pink-and-white image of the star they followed, suddenly, to the right, on the blue-and-yellow to the left.

What is intended for the psychologists? You wanted to find out how well and how quickly the babies could draw your attention. This time, the bilingual were waking babies send clear advantage: on the Basis of the eye movements of the infants, the researchers were able to detect that the bilingual children learned the new rule better and faster than the other subjects.

even before bilingual children begin to speak at all, have linked your nerve cells so it may be different than monolingual people. "We can explain many of the cognitive effects of bilingualism," says Bialystok. Alone the fact, in everyday life two languages are exposed, has led to fundamental changes in the brain.

bilingual children control their attention better and to manage.

Why is that relevant? Because the attention is crucial to have something to focus on. When driving a car, or in the case of the solution of a problem. Always, it is important to distinguish relevant from trivial tasks. "Even for logical Thinking, we must turn our attention to control," says the psychologist.

back in 2009, researchers from Spain and Hungary published a study with similar experiments on babies. Bialystok and colleagues complain, however, methodological problems, especially too few experiments had taken place. "This criticism is partly justified," confirmed the Leipzig New ropsychologin Friederici. The better it is that the new, more extensive investigation come to the same statements as the previous Tests.

Various developments in the brain

A study had revealed six years ago, notes on basic differences in the attention of bilingual children. The psychologist Núria Sebastián Gallés of the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, had studied eight-month-old babies, in Catalan-Spanish or English-French environment growing up. In the context of the experiments, the infants watched Videos in which adult English or French languages.

In contrast to monolingual babies, bilingual recognized easily as soon as the Person moved in the Video, the language. This was also the case for Catalan-Spanish, Wake-up children to whom English and French were, of course, foreign to send. The special: Sebastián Gallés had turned off the sound, the infants saw only silent mouth movements. "We have already seen that in the case of these babies in the brain, is something fundamentally different," says Bialystok. Especially since other studies in adults had shown that two speakers can not be as easy of a task.

the students get

Still, parents worry that bilingualism could bring their children with disadvantages, for example, if you speak slower to learn than others. "In fact, the can prepare in the school first of problems, for example, how the teachers perceive the children," says Adler. Soon, however, the bilingual students to get the monolingual and exceed them often. At the age of multilingualism pays: How to Bialystok and other researchers have found, have artists on the Voice have more gray brain matter in areas involved in language processing or control. This mass served to them, obviously, as a Reserve for old age.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 11.02.2019, 12:04 PM

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