Konnikova on The New Yorker wrote a piece discussing learning two languages: Is Bilingualism Really An Advantage? Even though results are different from expected, the researcher, de Bruin, believes the true edge of bilingualism could go beyond task-switching and executive control.
So what are the advantages of being bilingual?
Here are some of them according to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and, ahem, my personal experience.
1. Being able to learn new words easily.
Navigating through two languages has helped me learn more languages. A lot of languages are interconnected or heavily influenced by other languages: my understanding of English absolutely played a huge role in my French class, and my ability to read Chinese made my life a little easier while reading Japanese Kanjis.
2. Being able to use information in new ways.
Knowing two languages means you have access to two different cultures and people from different countries. Creativity requires a lot of brainpower, but since people who are bilingual do it every day linguistically, they’re slightly more familiar with the process.
3. Good listening skills
You learn a language by listening, and being bilingual means you have twice the practice other people did? (Disclaimer: Personally, I’m not very sure I’ve mastered this–still working on my listening skills.)
4. Connecting with others
I’ve gotten a decent amount of free gifts and good restaurant recommendations from trying to speak French while I was traveling in France. Need I say more?
I believe that knowing two languages fluently really expanded my vision and my experiences, not to mention it also made my life much easier. As a cultural center that celebrates multiculturalism, La Peña encourages children to learn more than one language in a fun setting. This is why it provides a Spanish-immersion World Music and Dance Camp this summer (Aug 3-7). I hope you would give your kids a chance to know another language, and of course, another culture!
Sign up here!
Here are the details for the camp:
August 3-7, 2015
A Spanish-immersion World Music and Dance Camp
9am – 3 pm
$275 including snacks, and excursions.
Mundo Musical Summer Camp is an exploration of dance and music traditions from around the world, with instruction in Spanish!
Students will experience Puerto Rican Bomba, Mexican Son Jarocho, Afro-Peruvian song and dance, and more!
Open to children ages 7 – 12. Some proficiency with Spanish will enhance your child’s learning and enjoyment.
Limited spaces available. Contact Hector Lugo to sign up.
Bomba drumming and songs
Through drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling, children will learn about Bomba, a 300-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican tradition, and its connections to other Caribbean musical forms. Activities are designed to help children develop musicianship, body coordination, expressiveness, and bilingual literacy skills in a fun and supportive group environment.
Son Jarocho – Zapateado, Small Percussion, Canto, Verse Writing, Fandango
Join La Peña Resident Artist María de la Rosa and members of her music collective, DíaPa’Son on a summer time trip through the Mexican Caribbean Gulf.
This class will concentrate on creating children’s choreography centered around the cajón. Children will learn how to play the cajón, the most important Afro-Peruvian percussion instrument, as well as some traditional songs, dances and footwork!
Lots of fun!
Sign up here!