Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains

Just found an article about how Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains

Recent research indicates that bilingual speakers can outperform monolinguals–people who speak only one language–in certain mental abilities, such as editing out irrelevant information and focusing on important information, said Judith Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Penn State. These skills make bilinguals better at prioritizing tasks and working on multiple projects at one time.

Read the rest here –>

I’ve been meaning to brush up on my languages – I had tried to learn Spanish, years ago, but I couldn’t handle the classroom environment. I also need to learn French, since I work with a lot of French speakers and I would like to travel to Quebec this year.

I’ve been reluctant to “take on too much”, but what’s to keep me from learning just some basic travel language? Nothing, really. I don’t need to know how to debate Kant and Spinoza, just get around and interact with people.

So, it looks like this is my next project.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

2 thoughts on “Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains”

  1. Good luck with the languages. Being able to speak more than one is a gift totally under-estimated in the English-speaking world. It think one of the most important things it gives you is the ability to think in different ways – ie to see how language frames our thoughts. I was lucky enough to learn French as a kid (in Western Canada) and it has never entirely gone away, even when I haven’t spoken it in years.

    I decided to relearn French ten years ago, and I found the following useful: Try listening to Radio-Canada on the computer. They speak a pretty clean N. American French. Also, if they have them where you live, one thing I found very useful are these clubs where you exchange languages with a native speaker – French for half an hour, or an hour, then English for the same. Very useful. Also – verb tables. I think it’s called Rocherelles. Recite the conjugations for twenty minutes or so – very useful for understanding a language like French.

    Coincidentally, I decided to relearn French after my last big head injury. I’ve often thought the mental exercise involved helped offset some of the worst effects. Especially the repetitive action of the verb tables funnily enough . . . when I finally did go into therapy it was in French so that too was a learning curve.

    If you do go to Quebec, contact me. I left some years ago, but lived there for a long time, know it fairly well. Beautiful place, nice people. The accent can be daunting. Imagine an accent from the American south, but in French and you get the idea . . .

    T.

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  2. Thanks for the tips Tim! I really appreciate it. I’ve been looking for French audio to listen to, but I haven’t found anything I can really tell is good. I’ve had a lot of dealings with folks from French-speaking areas, but sadly I’ve never picked up enough to be useful.

    I’ll check out those clubs – sounds like a great idea. Good to get out and socialize, too.

    Thanks again
    BB

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