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Brains Benefit from Multilingualism

In a recent recent article entitled thus, the Science Daily, November 26, 2009, reports on a significant research project undertaken by a research team appointed by the European Commission. David Marsh, the Project Coordinator, says that neuroscientific research especially offers increasingly  strong evidence of versatile knowledge of languages being beneficial for the individual’s brain. Marsh reports:  “The research report cites six main areas where multilingualism and hence the mastery of complex processes of thought seem to put people in advantage.  These include learning in general, complex thinking and creativity, mental flexibility, interpersonal and communication skills, and even a possible delay in the onset of age-related mental diminishment later in life. ……It is obvious that enhanced memory can have a profound impact on cognitive function…. This may be one reason why the multilingual shows superior performance in handling complex and demanding problem-solving tasks when compared to monolinguals”.  Marsh goes on to say “Learning a language strictly as a separate subject in the curriculum does not work as effectively for a broad range of young people as compared to embedding second language into other subjects”? It’s time education authorities invested in the expertise and resources to make this happen. With the writing of the shaping paper for the Australian Curriculum in Languages under way, let’s be fair dinkum about having a world class curriculum.

admin : August 9, 2011