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HOW BILINGUALISM CAN BENEFIT YOUR CHILD’S BRAIN

Many of us who raise bilingual children aren’t thinking of giving our children a cognitive advantage. If we are married to someone from another country or living in a different country to our birthplace, we might see raising a bilingual child as maintaining an important part of our cultural heritage. Perhaps we (rightly) think that a bilingual child will have more opportunities in the future when it comes to choosing a place to study, work or live. For parents in these situations, there are already plenty of benefits to raising our children as bilinguals. But what if there are more?

The evidence keeps on stacking up to suggest that being bilingual is very good for us, and particularly very good for our brains. Whilst it’s too early to say for certain, it looks as if the scientific community is finally coming to a consensus on the idea that speaking two languages frequently acts as a kind of brain exercise that keeps us and our children mentally fit.

A recent study has...

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ENGLISH/SPANISH RESOURCE FOR KIDS

One of the most important things you can do with your child if they are learning a foreign language at daycare/kindergarten is to continue the language adventure at home. So today, we have put together a list of English / Spanish resource that you can use to engage your preschooler. Whether it's through stories or interactive games, we guarantee you that BOTH you and your child's Spanish will continue to thrive! x

Free United for Literacy website: it is a collection of digital books for kids from preschool to elementary school. It has multiple language options, including Spanish. To read the books in Spanish, you just need to click the Narration button at the top left corner of the screen, and then choose Spanish.

National Geographic Young Explorer: a wonderful science digital magazine for kids, with 7 issues each year, in both English and Spanish. Kids can read on the website, or via the free app.

Farfaria: a subscription-based reading library on mobile devices and online,...

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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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