Came to Find – Vim Encontrar

ENGLISH: So tell me, what did you come to find here? Read more and see what my opinions & thoughts on everything are all about. Followed my blog? I'll follow yours. PORTUGUÊS: Então me diga, o que você veio encontrar aqui? Leia mais e veja quais são as minhas opiniões & pensamentos sobre todas as coisas. Seguiu o meu blog? Vou seguir o seu.

ENG.: Perks of Being Bilingual

I was born in Brazil, therefore my first language was Portuguese (no, in Brazil we do not speak Spanish!) but, when I was three years old my mom noticed something that would change my life: she saw me saying a few words and phrases from the movie “Sleeping Beauty” in English. So here is the question, are there any differences between monolinguals and bilinguals?

* Arquivos Misteriosos’ blog

Researching about the theme I stumbled across something found out in 2003, by the University York of Toronto’s psychologist Ellen Bialystok, in Canada. She did a survey where kids had to identify which sentence was gramatically correct. Monolingual and bilingual kids could see the error in phrases such as “apples grows in trees”, but the differences appeared when they analyzed meaningless sentences, like “apples grow in noses”. Monolinguals couldn’t get over the ridiculous sense of the phrase, thus didn’t find any mistakes, while bilinguals found the right answer. Bialystok says that bilingual’s brains have a better development in their “executive system”, mental abilities that provide the capability of blocking irrelevant information. This advantage is responsible for making them focus on the grammar and ignoring the lack of sense of the words. This also helps going from one activity to another without getting confused. Paula Rubio-Fernández and Sam Glucksberd, both psychologists from Princeton University in the US, found out that bilingual individuals are more capable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes easily, since they can block information they know and focus on another point of view.

* Mamiverse Website

The reason why bilingual brains are so focused is what Northwestern University’s psychologist Viorica Marian researched in the US. Using eye movement monitors to register the focus of the volunteers, both Russian and English speakers, she put different objects in front of them and asked, in English: “take the pen”. The question was completely understood by them, but “pen” has a similar sound to “stamp” in Russian, leading them to look at the wrong object (stamp) before choosing the right object (pen). She concluded that both languages are always competing for your brain’s attention, but when bilinguals talk, write or listen to the radio, their brains are busy trying to choose the right word and blocking the same word from other languages.

* Missive Maven Website

Another perk of being bilingual is the fact that the brain resists the aging effects for longer. Bialystok collected data from 184 people diagnosed with dementia, half of them bilinguals. The results published in 2007 showed that the symptoms emerged four years later for bilinguals. In 2010, the survey happened again but instead of dementia, 200 people with Alzheimer’s. The results were the same, symptoms rose to prominence five years later for bilinguals.

Learning a new language isn’t easy, requires time and a lot of will power, but seeing how many positive things can come of it, surely makes us forget about difficult times. If you, like me in this exact moment, are learning a new language here is my message: don’t give up now! It will be worth it one day.

* Information found on Galileu Magazine

About these ads

31 comments on “ENG.: Perks of Being Bilingual

  1. diannegray
    July 18, 2013

    This is really interesting. Thanks for sharing :D

    • thaygoulart
      July 19, 2013

      Actually thank you for stopping by and reading it! Saw the “about me” page of your blog, congrats on so many awards :)

  2. vastlycurious.com
    July 19, 2013

    I keep trying to learn German when I am stuck in the car. Good for you!

    • thaygoulart
      July 19, 2013

      I do the same thing, but with French. Don’t stop now :)

  3. TBM
    July 22, 2013

    Very interesting and it does make sense. Now I should stop what I’m doing and listen to my Spanish lesson for the day!

    • thaygoulart
      July 23, 2013

      Thank you! Hahah, oh Spanish… Such a flirtatious language, watch out for the words you say! :D

  4. thehappyhugger
    July 22, 2013

    I’d love to learn another language sometime. I speak English and Afrikaans at the moment :)

    • thaygoulart
      July 23, 2013

      So you’re already enjoying the perks of bilingualism! What would you like to learn next?

  5. audrina1759
    July 23, 2013

    This is very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • thaygoulart
      July 24, 2013

      Hey Audrina, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Followed you too! And you’re welcome ;)

  6. Stephen Greene
    July 23, 2013

    This is a great post and shows some of the advantages of being bilingual. I am hosting a blogging carnival next week on Hidden Opportunities for the Bilingual Kids Blogging Carnival. I would love to include this if it is ok with you. If you want more information email me at stephen@headoftheheard.com

    • thaygoulart
      July 24, 2013

      Hey Stephen, thank you! And wow thanks for asking me to let my post me a part of it, you can use it, of course! Just please make sure to say where you got the post from ;) can you explain how this carnival works? Again, thank you so much!

  7. Christy Birmingham
    July 23, 2013

    Such interesting information here!

    • thaygoulart
      July 24, 2013

      Thanks, Christy! Bumped into it and thought the same thing.

  8. Pingback: Raising Bilingual Kids Blogging Carnival: Hidden Opportunities | The Head of the Heard

  9. Jonathan
    July 29, 2013

    Just discovered this through the blogging carnival, really liked the way you brought together so many interesting benefits of bilingualism.

    • thaygoulart
      July 29, 2013

      Hi Jonathan, thank you so much for stopping by! Bilingualism was definitely a life changing experience, now I’m learning my 3rd language and I can’t wait to see where that will lead me :)

  10. Jeanne @soultravelers3
    July 29, 2013

    I love all the data on the advantages of being a multilingual. I am a monolingual, so is my husband, and reading these kind of things is exactly why we wanted to raise a multilingual kid.

    It’s not been easy, but now at 12 she is a fluent trilingual/triliterate in Mandarin/Spanish/English and will soon add French. I think some day she will also add the other Romance languages too…but we will see.

    When we were in Portugal, she managed to play with the kids there even with her Spanish. ;)

    We’ve been traveling the world with her non-stop the last 8 years, ( 46 countries on 5 continents so far) so she is also a global citizen thus knows first hand how advantages having several languages is.

    I’ve been to Brazil, but it is still on our list for our family!

    BTW I found you from the multilingual carnival!

    • thaygoulart
      July 29, 2013

      Hi Jeanne, thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience! You’re doing your kid an enormous favor, never doubt that! I am 19 and I’ve been studying French for 18 months now, and I wish I had started when I was a kid… A lot easier!! And I do consider myself lucky, I pick up on languages really fast but still. Where are you planning to visit? Sounds like it is a fun life you guys have! Really enjoyed your comment, thanks a lot!

  11. Kristin
    July 29, 2013

    I’m trying to bring up two bilinguals at the moment (twin boys). Born in Miami, they moved here to Brazil at age 18 months. They started in a Brazilian school but moved to an English school two years ago. The funny thing is that one prefers to speak in Portuguese and the other in English. They both have accents in both languages. Hope we’ve done this right!

    • thaygoulart
      July 29, 2013

      Hi Kristin! I have a 4 year old cousin, his name is Isaac and he was born in the States. His family is Brazilian, so he speaks both languages really well. When I was visiting, I noticed Isaac could only read in English. How funny is that, huh? He learned how to read by himself, he’s never been to school but he can’t read stuff in Portuguese. Don’t worry, you’re doing these kids a favor.
      Here is a video of Isaac saying some things in different languages, if you want to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4ZYvvczHJA

  12. Lisaman
    July 30, 2013

    I do agree with the languages vying for attention.. If I have the word in a language in my brain I can’t think of it in the other language but I do understand the meaning.. I find the languages pair off in my brain so I mix up Russian and greek words and french and English!!!!

    • thaygoulart
      July 30, 2013

      Oh my, 4! Sounds great, and I bet the confusion is worth it :) I’m more used to English so whenever I am speaking I might add some words to my phrases, or forget it’s equivalent to the other language. Happened several times and I hate that look people give me “why did she stop talking and now she seems to be thinking?” haha :D keep learning! I’m sure your languages opened several doors in your life.

  13. 3rdCultureChildren
    July 31, 2013

    OMG! Eu adorei este post! Tambem, bilingue, nascida e criada no Brasil, mas desde muito cedo, eu sentia que ” pertencia” a dois mundos, por conta da lingua – e olha que ambos meus pais sao brasileiros, mas ingles comecou a ser parte da minha vida aos 8 anos… :) Now, we’ve got 3 children [hubby is American], each one born in one country [our worklife!], and speaking Portuguese/English and now Spanish [we're posted in Bolivia]. Thank you so much for your post… and the research involved… I’m always on the look-out for resources, similar challenges [from other parents], discussion forums… blogs… guest posts… Let’s be in touch! Greetings from La Paz, Bolivia. Take care, Raquel.

    • thaygoulart
      September 17, 2013

      Oii, muito obrigada! Perdão pela demora pra responder, jurei que já tinha respondido! Funny… I feel like I belong to 2 worlds as well rsrs. Nossa, um em cada lugar? Isso que é amor a diversidade, I like it! Qual foi o primeiro idioma dos 3? Inglês, né? Com quantos anos você começou a ensinar o português?
      Obrigada por tirar um tempinho do teu dia para ler e comentar! We’ll certainly be in touch! Bolívia? Você está pertinho de mim até! Moro em Campo Grande – MS, 4 hours away from Bolívia, da divisa na realidade hahaha! :D

      • 3rdCultureChildren
        September 17, 2013

        Meu
        primeiro idioma eh o Portugues. Comecei com ingles com 8 anos, e nao mais parei… :o

        • thaygoulart
          September 17, 2013

          E o dos seus filhos?

          • 3rdCultureChildren
            September 17, 2013

            misturam muito portugues com ingles… talvez agora, por conta da escola, estao bem mais para o ingles… :o

  14. Arindam Saha
    August 15, 2013

    Yeah! Being bilingual is always great! :) Very informative post…

    You know, whenever the issue of being multilingual comes up, we Indians feel extremely proud. Almost every Indian knows at least 2 languages… Most of us know three… And students like us – three and a half ;)

    Not because we love to learn languages; but because it is the need of the hour (A Total of 18 languages in India… almost all in different scripts :))

    • thaygoulart
      September 17, 2013

      Thanks! Your nation is a growing one due to your people’s will to learn and look for ways to improve themselves, I’ve read about it. Brazilians know a little English and/or Spanish along with Portuguese, but they can’t speak it fluently… If you don’t practice a language, it will fade away — that’s what happens with us.

Leave a Comment - Comente Aqui Sobre o Post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Visitors – Visitantes

Flag Counter

Enter your email to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email - Coloque seu e-mail para seguir este blog e receber notificações de novos posts por e-mail

Join 764 other followers

Calendar – Calendário

July 2013
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 764 other followers

%d bloggers like this: