On becoming bilingual and its consequences for cognitive, academic, and economic outcomes
Recent research suggests that bilingualism and multilingualism provides exceptional consequences across the lifespan that reach far beyond the benefits of having two languages available for communicative purposes. Aside from enhancing opportunities for social interaction, for economic advancement, and for increasing intercultural understanding, being bilingual or multilingual also changes the mind and the brain in ways that create resilience under conditions of stress and that counter some of the deleterious effects of poverty and disease. In this talk, I will review some of that research and will discuss the lessons that we can take away from the research on multilingualism.
Professor of Spanish, Linguistics and Psychology
Head, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Penn State University