Tags: languages | learning | mind health | aging

Learn a New Language

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Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 03:01 PM Current | Bio | Archive

If you’re only fluent in one language, consider learning a second one — several studies indicate a connection between knowing more than one language and better cognitive abilities.
 
Scientists at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, University of Toronto, found that bilingual people avoided Alzheimer’s disease several years longer that those who spoke only one language.
 
But this study did not indicate with whether learning a new language caused the cognitive boost, or if people who have higher cognitive abilities are the ones most likely to study a second language.
 
To address that issue, researchers at University of Edinburgh assessed available intelligence test data on 262 individuals at the age of 11, and reviewed cognitive changes when the volunteers were tested a second time in their 70s.
 
Study subjects who spoke two or more languages demonstrated significantly better mental abilities. The most impressive enhancements were observed in reading and general intelligence, but benefits were also observed in attention, mental focus, and verbal fluency.
 
The good news is that it’s never too late to pick up a new language. Cognitive benefits have been observed in people who studied a new language in their youth, as well as those who learned late in life.

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If you’re only fluent in one language, consider learning a second one — several studies indicate a connection between knowing more than one language and better cognitive abilities.
languages, learning, mind health, aging
201
2014-01-11
Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 03:01 PM
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