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Bilingue? Mezzo mondo parla due lingue. e Voi?

More than half the world’s population is now bilingual. Now thought to encourage flexibility of mind and empathy, bilingualism is also transforming societies.

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 The joys and benefits of bilingualism

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd”.

L'erronea concezione didattica del passato faceva ritenere il bilinguismo un rischio per l'educazione del bambino:

"...Until recent decades, bilingualism was deeply frowned upon and considered deleterious to development. The received wisdom for much of the 20th century was that there was really only space for one language in a child’s brain. It was thought that if, for example, immigrants maintained a mother tongue at home, it would impede integration at school and probably lead to academic regression and confusion. ..."

Gli studi scientifici mostrano già negli anni '60 che non è così:
"...As one journal study put it in 1926: “The use of a foreign language in the home is one of the chief factors in producing mental retardation as measured by intelligence tests.” The choice to avoid the mother tongue wasn’t simply an educational, but also a social, one; the home language was invariably considered a source of shame, a sign of poverty or difference that would almost certainly lead to being singled out and bullied. For immigrants, integration used to imply the deliberate avoidance of your parents’ language, at least in any public setting. The pendulum began to swing back, very slowly, after 1962, when an academic studywas conducted into monoglot French speakers and English-French bilinguals in Montreal. The authors, Elizabeth Peal and Wallace E Lambert, had expected a variety of tests to prove that the monoglots were more able than the bilinguals, but the exact opposite was the case.

...The effects of bilingualism appear to take place almost from birth. Extraordinary experiments – involving electric sensors in babies’ dummies – suggested that infants only a few months old can distinguish one language from the next. Eight-month-old infants are able to distinguish the facial expressions of one language from another. If such “enhanced perceptual attentiveness” is evident so early on, it’s perhaps not surprising that the bilingual brain seems to be wired differently. In another experiment, eight-year-old bilingual girls displayed enhanced “complex spatial reasoning” compared to their monoglot peers; less subject to “egocentric error”, they were much more adept at understanding what the arrangement of four coloured blocks would look like from 90, 180 and 270 degrees....

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