What Every Policymaker Needs to Know About the Cognitive Benefits of Bilingualism
This chapter presents evidence that the regular use of two languages (bilingualism) results in a considerable cognitive advantage which is evidenced in a range of studies covering all life stages: from early years, compulsory education and adulthood to, more recently, even advanced age. The chapter draws on the latest research evidence in order to advocate that all stakeholders in education and wider society would benefit from a shift in attitudes and approach to bilingualism and learning other languages. The benefits at the individual and societal level are so significant that acting on this evidence is not only an educational, but also a health and economic imperative. In the conclusion a set of recommendations is provided for the development and implementation of a new approach relevant to all children and adults: a Healthy Linguistic Diet.
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