Does being bilingual make you smarter?
Here’s another reason to encourage your kids to learn a second language. Being fluent in a foreign tongue increases cognitive abilities in the younger years and makes the brain healthier later in life, offering protection against dementia, say experts. Researchers at York University in England say speaking two languages can strengthen key brain pathways and enhance mental flexibility. “Bilingualism has a beneficial effect on cognitive development in children,” says study leader Dr. Ellen Bialystock. It also makes the brain more resilient as people grow older.