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LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE IS GOOD CHILDHOOD MIND MEDICINE, STUDIES FIND.

Teaching young children how to speak a second language is good for their minds, report two Cornell linguistic researchers.

Learning a second language does not cause language confusion, language delay or cognitive deficit, which have been concerns in the past. In fact, according to studies at the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab (CLAL), children who learn a second language can maintain attention despite outside stimuli better than children who know only one language.

That’s important, say Barbara Lust, a developmental psychology and linguistics expert, professor of human development and director of CLAL, and her collaborator, Sujin Yang, former postdoctoral research associate at the lab, because that ability is “responsible for selective and conscious cognitive processes to achieve goals in the face of distraction and plays a key role in academic readiness and success in school settings.”

In other words, “Cognitive advantages follow from becoming...

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PLAYFUL WORD APPS HELP KIDS LEARN ENGLISH AND SPANISH

Are you constantly bombarded by your little ones nagging you to play games on your iPad? Well today, you can breathe a sigh of relief when you hand over the iPad as you download these newly released apps that focus on kids language games.

With the three following word apps, including one that teaches Spanish words, kids get hooked on learning words. One involves a treasure hunt, another lets kids cavort with silly monsters and the third turn word creation into an experiment with humorous results. Here’s a closer look.

Mystery Word Town — Sight Word Spelling

Artgig Studio, best for ages 6-12, $2.99, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPadAndroid

Rating: 4 stars

Kids travel back in time to the Old West to help the sheriff of Word Town rustle up the Huevos Rancheros Gang who stole a bunch of gold and is holed up in the town’s buildings. As kids search each building for the treasure, they collect letters of the alphabet found in the rooms. To move from room to room,...

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