Acting U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. recently addressed the importance of bilingual education for our increasingly multi-ethnic society. King said the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which President Obama signed into law late last year, allows states to include biliteracy in their definitions of educational excellence.

States have the opportunity to invest in ensuring that all new teachers are ready to work in the diverse settings that characterize our schools, and to see the fact a child that speaks a language other than English at home as an asset rather than as a deficit, he said.

Chris Livaccari

The benefits of learning another language are well-researched and well-documented — but there’s a case that neither educators or language learners are aware of just how beneficial it is. Advocates of bilingualism tend to focus on utilitarian outcomes like strengthening national security, ensuring economic prosperity, getting a better job in the future, or even developing one’s ability to navigate the streets of a foreign capital. But even if you never leave the United States or need anything more than English to live your life and do your job, your education is not complete without the deep experience of learning another language.

Over a series of recent conversations with my fourth and fifth grade students in both the French and Chinese bilingual programs at International School of the Peninsula, we explored the relationship between language and culture. One of the students' main insights was that the process of becoming bilingual has helped them realize that nothing can be directly translated, and that all communication — even within a single language — involves interpretation and nuance. That’s a profound insight, even for professional academics, let alone nine and 10-year-olds. But it shows that our students are already moving beyond the idea that learning a language is all about being able to have a smooth visit to Paris or Beijing.

Dra. Virginia Vinuesa Benítez
Profesora de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Son muchos los padres que dudan a la hora de matricular a sus hijos en modelos de enseñanza bilingüe e incluso a lo largo de su escolarización. Y eso ocurre porque circulan falsos mitos que les hacen creer que los programas bilingües pueden afectar negativamente a una correcta adquisición de conocimientos por parte de los alumnos. Este artículo aborda tres de los mitos más comunes sobre el bilingüismo para ayudar a disipar esas dudas.

MITO 1 “Aprender dos lenguas al mismo tiempo confunde al niño y reduce su capacidad cognitiva”.

Todo lo contrario: el bilingüismo mejora la “flexibilidad cognitiva” y permite al niño ver las cosas desde dos o más perspectivas. Las personas que aprenden dos lenguas poseen una capacidad auditiva mayor que las personas monolingües y maduran antes en términos de abstracción lingüística.
Algunos estudios sugieren que los niños que reciben instrucción en una segunda lengua desarrollan más el pensamiento crítico y creativo, son mejores a la hora de resolver problemas y muestran mayor adaptación en la realización de tareas variadas.

De plus en plus de recherches scientifiques démontrent que le bilinguisme confère des avantages cognitifs chez l'enfant, qu'il peut s'apprendre avec un haut degré de compétence tout au long de la vie et qu'il offre un effet neuroprotecteur jusqu'en fin de vie. État des connaissances.


Un texte de Michel Rochon

Partout dans le monde, des psychologues, des linguistes et des spécialistes de l'imagerie cérébrale découvrent les avantages de parler deux langues et scrutent les transformations que cette pratique opère sur ce que l'on appelle maintenant le « cerveau bilingue ».

Le bilinguisme est pratiqué par 60 % de la population mondiale. Au Canada, c'est 35 %. 

 « En fait, la normalité humaine, c'est d'être plurilingue. C'est de parler deux langues, trois langues, quatre langues. »

Pheadra Royle, linguiste à l'Université de Montréal

The British trait of being too polite to speak one's mind has led to a table translating numerous hollow English phrases becoming an internet hit.

By Alice Philipson

The table sheds light on just how difficult it can be for a foreigner to understand what the British really mean when they're speaking – especially for those take every word at face value.

Phrases that prove the trickiest to decipher include 'you must come for dinner', which foreigners tend to take as a direct invitation, but is actually said out of politeness by many Britons and often does not result in an invite.