Does speaking a second language really improve cognition?

The idea that learning to speak two languages is good for your brain has come to be widely accept as fact, particularly in popular media. Studies have shown that bilingual speakers of all ages outperform monolinguals on certain cognitive performance measures. Other studies show delays in the onset of dementia and some even claim enhanced intelligence.


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There is an interesting ‘debate’ going on amongst researchers as to whether speaking two languages is good for your cognitive powers. The debate unearths some key areas for consideration for L&D professionals when it comes to taking scientific research at face value – I’m thinking in particular. It seems that positive research findings get more airwaves than negative ones which has big implications for what we consider to be the ‘truth’.

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