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German Language

Learn a Language, Increase Your Brain Power

Researchers have found preliminary evidence that growing up bilingual increases the brain’s capacity to deal with complex issues. Here’s an excerpt from the NPR story, followed by the audio:

Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist from York University in Toronto, says the reason lies in the way the bilingual mind uses language.

“We don’t really know very much in psychology,” said Bialystok. “But the one thing that has been so overwhelmingly proven, that I can say with great certainty, is this: For a bilingual who really has two good languages that they use, both of them are always active.”

In other words, no matter what language a person is speaking at the moment, both languages are active in the brain.

“The evidence is very dramatic. Even if you are in a context that is utterly monolingual, where you think there is absolutely no reason to think about Chinese or Spanish or French, it is part of the activated network that’s going on in your brain,” she said.

http://www.npr.org/v2/?i=135043787&m=135106090&t=audio

(If flash does not work, click here.

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About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.

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