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You are here: Home / Bilingualism Matters / Bilingualism in the News

Bilingualism in the News


University of Ottawa study suggests Franglais isn't weakening French

Professor Shana Poplack, who runs a sociolinguistics lab at the University of Ottawa, has studied thousands of words and hundreds of speakers. In this interview, she addresses common ideas that people have about negative effects of language mixing, and how they are not backed by science! Read more in the article or watch the embedded interview video.

Learning a second language may benefit children with autism

More and more evidence is found that being bilingual is beneficial for our cognitive functions. For the first time, this study shows that those benefits may extend to children with autism and help them to be more flexible when switching tasks!

Why do cartoon villains speak in foreign accents?

Kids use TV as a key source of information about people and the world. A recent piece in the Atlantic discusses research on how children's films use accents to convey character traits. It turns out that many films indirectly promote language bias and discrimination: heroic characters typically have "Standard American" accents, while villains often have foreign accents, or accents associated with "non-Standard" English varieties. Read the article to find out more, and for advice on how to help kids become informed consumers of media and TV.

You are more likely to deny the truth in your second language

The evidence that bilingualism affects thinking is ever-growing. This study found that bilinguals' judgement of whether or not a sentence was true changed based on the language the sentence was in. Here you can find the original research study to the posted article.

Wales plans to revive Welsh language with one million speakers by 2050

In order to preserve its rich cultural heritage, Wales is pushing to preserve the Welsh language. In this effort, Bilingualism Matters founding director, Antonella Sorace, stresses that no language should be considered a "bad" language to learn.

When bilinguals borrow from one language to another

A new interview in Psychology Today addresses the question of how bilinguals may integrate their two languages within the same sentence or phrase. Researchers have identified two main strategies: code-switching and borrowing.

Being bilingual buffers against Alzheimer's by improving connectivity

The advantages of bilingualism are lifelong. A study done in Italy found that frequently using two languages postponed symptoms of Alzheimer's. Brain scans also showed that bilinguals' brains are more efficient at making up for the damage that does occur.

Bilingual preschoolers show stronger inhibitory control

The claim that bilinguals have a cognitive advantage isn't new. A recent longitudinal study of Head Start children found that this advantage develops early in life, and that it also extends to children who are learning a second language.

Bilingualism: What happens in the brain?

This interesting piece synthesizes important insights from research on bilingualism and its benefits. Congrats to Dr. Sarah Grey, a former CLS BiLD Lab Postdoctoral Fellow, who is quoted in the article!

Judith Kroll and Giuli Dussias contribute to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences

Last year, Giuli Dussias and Judith Kroll were asked to contribute a white paper on the benefits of multilingualism for the Commission on Language Learning at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They shared their report when it appeared last spring, but the full report of the commission is now available and will be of interest to many of you.

Penn State Psychology Professor Dr. Ping Li publishes article discussing how bilingual brains change in response to learning a second language

This article, by Penn State Psychology Professor Dr. Ping Li, discusses how bilingual brains change in response to learning a second language. Among the interesting findings are language-specific effects of bilingualism, how second language learning leads to a more integrated brain, and why language learning may delay cognitive aging. Check it out, and let us know what you think.

Professor Shana Poplack, who runs a sociolinguistics lab at the University of Ottawa, has studied thousands of words and hundreds of speakers. In this interview, she addresses common ideas that people have about negative effects of language mixing, and how they are not backed by science! Read more in the article or watch the embedded interview video.