Language teachers and learned institutes of language are always pushing the benefits of learning another language. Well, it’s their job, innit? Stands to reason, mate. And so the argument rages back and forth-are bilingual people cleverer? Do their endless mental gymnastics looking for the right word in two languages make them more adept? Or do they just get to see a bigger variety of newspapers and TV shows?
Here’s a couple of pieces which discuss this question. Vincent de Luca* of Birmingham University (The Conversation) gives a very concise summary of the psychological and neurological factors at play. We’ve thrown in Neel Burton of Psychology Today for those with time for a second opinion.
We’ve looked at more: and for us at LSS, the answer is a firm and resounding “Don’t Know“. We don’t often take a personal note here or on Facebook. We know persons who can speak two, four and even six languages, and they are pretty smart cookies. But we also know many monolinguals who are far, far cleverer than the writer of these words. And have always remained so, despite our many years of effort in Spanish. What counts is success in life, and that depends on many factors.
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