Speaking more than one language is a very efficient way of stimulating brain power it turns out.
The reason why is that bilingualism makes the brain suppress one language or the other depending on the situation. Research has shown that this type of brain activity could even slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
An that’s not all.
According to new study kids who are raised in a foreign country but still speak their mother tongue at home tend to be more intelligent.
The research in question was carried out at the University of Reading. It proved the following. Children who spoke their mother tongue at home and their non-native language at school achieved higher results on IQ tests.
In the study took part 100 children from Turkey at the age of 7-11 who were living in the UK and spoke Turkish at home and English at school. They were put to a non-verbal test and their results were compared to the ones of children who spoke only English.
The study which was presented at the BAAL Vocabulary SIG Annual Conference in July 2018 was conducted by Dr. Daller and Dr. Zehra Ongun at the University of Reading.
All the children who took part in the research came from families with at least one parent who holds a university or college degree.
Here is what Dr. Michael Daller, Associate Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Reading says about the research he authored:
“It is easier to develop concepts at a young age in a first language and then learn a new word for it later in a different language. Children who have to learn to understand things for the first time in a less familiar language will find it much harder. So it follows that the children in our study who had done this scored lower on the IQ test.”
He also thinks that parents should encourage their children to talk in their native language at home. He says this a good way of stimulating the intellect of the kids.
Furthermore, they cannot do that at school. Dr. Daller recommends that the parents ask their children to read books and have meaningful conversations in their mother tongue. He considers these activities extremely efficient for developing the intelligence of a child.
But this research is not going to be the last of its kind as dr. Daller’s scientific team is planning to examine children from different backgrounds in the future.