Better Be Bilingual

Better Be Bilingual

Anna Felis, Writer

Does being bilingual enhance brain functions? Elizabeth Landau from CNN reports on Brian Gold’s experience. In his study, fMRI scans showed adult bilingual brains having similar activity to that of a younger adult.

Even if knowing different languages doesn’t improve one’s cognitive skills, being bilingual can open new doors into the world. “I like being able to communicate with a diverse group of people and learning about their lives,” says trilingual student Ananya Banyopadhyay. She was born in India, and her first language was Bengali. She began learning English at age three and Hindi at age four.

But you don’t have to have grown up in a bilingual family to enjoy the benefits of a foriegn language. Former Spanish teacher, Amanda Criss, began studying a new language in her freshman year of college. She said, “The best thing about knowing another language are the opportunities that have opened up for me to share the gospel.” She also ‘treasures’ the friendships she has been allowed to make. Knowing Spanish and French increased opportunities for her. She was employed as a Spanish teacher, was an interpreter on several mission trips to Peru, and went with Mississippi State University to teach Spanish to American students in Mexico.

Being able to break language barriers is one benefit of knowing another language, but having the extra knowledge builds friendships, increases job openings, and helps one understand global events.