Speaking two languages makes it easier to make friends in an unfamiliar place. Bilingual has many other advantages. A new study has found that knowing two languages can improve memory in old age. Researchers in Germany studied hundreds of elderly patients and found that those who spoke two languages every day from an early age scored higher on learning, memory and self- control than patients who spoke only one language.
Benefits of speaking two languages -
- Makes it easier to make friends in an unfamiliar place.
- Knowing two languages can improve memory in old age.
- Those who know more than one languages have better memory.
- Having knowledge of two languages elderly protects against hallucinations, decline in emotions.
Bilingual in life has a good effect in old age
Neurophysicist Miguel Arce Renteria at Columbia University, who was involved in the study, says that knowing two languages early in life has a good effect in old age. In the past few years, scientists have researched the relationship between understanding more than one language and the state of mind in old age. Some studies have found that bilinguals tend to decline in mental alertness at a later age than monolinguals. However, no such benefit was reported in another research.
Neuroscientists hypothesize that because bilinguals switch more quickly between the two languages. They may be able to do the same in areas such as multitasking, managing emotions, and self- control. Due to this, problems like dementia or hallucination arise late in old age. Studying two or more languages at different stages of life is a unique approach, says neuroscientist Boon Lead Tea at the University of California. However, the focus of the study is on the aspect of speaking two languages every day over a long period of time.
Other reasons for the good effect on mental alertness
There may be other reasons for the good effect on mental alertness. This aspect also needs to be looked into. Other experts say the results might have been different if the researchers had also asked people whether they spoke the second language one day a week rather than every day, or if they didn’t speak it often. This can be taken care of in future research.
Good ability to focus and make decisions
The new study studied 746 people aged 59 to 76. About 40 percent of people had no problems with memory. The rest were found to be affected by confusion or memory. People aged 13 to 30 or 30 to 65 who also used a second language scored higher on language, memory, focus, and decision- making than bilingual. Those who did not use two languages at that age.
Bilingual in children
Children can easily learn additional languages due to their heightened neuroplasticity. The brain’s capacity to form new neural connections and new brain cells. By using a fun game with a disappearing puppet, researchers found that babies as young as 7 months old who are raised in bilingual homes reap cognitive benefits. Children who study two languages receive a boost in overall cognitive development, do better on standardized tests, are more creative. And they have better self-esteem and sense of achievement in school. Second language studies help students do better in other areas of study across the board, including improvement in reading skills, social studies, and math, regardless of race, gender, or academic level. They did better on both the verbal and math portions of the test.