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Why Bilingual Kids Can Have an Edge

Studies indicate that bilingual kids have an edge in life. And Muzzy is the ideal vehicle to send your child down the path of learning a new language. Developed by the BBC, the Muzzy system has introduced millions of children worldwide another language. Muzzy utilizes animated videos featuring a host of fun characters in order to convey its language lessons. The end result provides children with numerous advantages, including:

1. Superior Communication Skills
According to a recent study at the University of Chicago, children who have been exposed to multiple languages are extremely effective at communicating ideas. Bilingual kids exhibit enhanced “executive function,” meaning they are better than monolingual children at reasoning their way through complex ideas and then expressing them in a clear manner. It goes without saying that this can pay powerful dividends as an adult. For example, superior communication abilities typically translate to greater success in the workplace.

2. Better Performance in Other Subjects
Child development specialists note that bilingual kids excel in a variety of academic subjects, as evidenced by their high scores on standardized tests. Studies show that bilingual kids are more successful at math than children who speak just one language. Their reading skills also develop quicker than those of their monolingual counterparts, likely because of their elevated awareness of language as a communication tool. In addition, they have a firmer grasp of their primary language.

3. Cultural Awareness
Exposure to another language also means exposure to another culture. And in today’s globalized society, this can be invaluable. Bilingual kids inherently understand how the world is interconnected, leading to an increased ability to coexist and work with people from all backgrounds.

4. Increased Flexibility
The process of switching from one language to the next improves cognitive flexibility. Such a skill is beneficial in the classroom. For instance, bilingual students are better able to filter out unnecessary information and home in on the task of hand. In a broader sense, flexibility, or being able to “go with the flow,” produces a well-adjusted individual who is less likely to be bogged down by life’s challenges and obstacles.

5. Enhanced Creativity
Because bilinguals exhibit more mental flexibility than monolinguals, they often are more creative. The exercise of shifting from language to language gives children the capacity to use information in new and different ways.

6. Heightened Vigilance
Researchers have discovered that bilinguals are more sensitive to the environment around them, the result of constantly being aware of the possibility of having to change languages in given situations. This skill can be important in many ways, from having a heightened sense of empathy to ensuring that your surroundings are safe (such as when driving).

7. Staving Off Alzheimer’s
According to numerous studies, including one by University of California neuropsychologist Tamar Gollan, bilinguals are more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease. The theory goes that the constant switching between sounds, words and grammatical structures serves as a type of mental strength training that makes the brain more muscular, so to speak.

8. A Better Memory
Researchers say that bilingual children are more apt to retain information. Obviously, this provides an incalculable advantage in the classroom.

9. Improved Listening Skills
To learn a new language, one has to develop a keen ability to listen. It stands to reason, then, that bilingual children are better able to follow directions and complete tasks in a more timely and accurate way. Later in life, finely tuned listening skills will help both in relationships and on the job.

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