When we drive from Cheshire to Pembrokeshire, there are language clues that remind us that we have crossed the border from England into Wales.
There have been numerous studies that show how good language learning is for the brain.
One aspect of such research shows that bilingual children ‘notice’ better how language works and outperform monolingual children in tasks linked to language awareness, such as distinguishing whether a sentence is grammatically well-formed from whether it is truthful.
But the benefits go even further, as Dr Alexopoulou explained: “Studies show that a bilingual child is better able to cope with tasks that involve attention, memory and concentration. The mental gymnastics needed to constantly manage two or more linguistic systems increases cognitive flexibility and makes learning easier.”
In the light of these findings, I’m full of admiration for these new parents who, resident in Wales but of recent Scottish/English origin, have decided to bring their baby up bilingual in English and Welsh.
Go on. Find a spare ten minutes and read about their adventure here.