This article from “1843”, The Economist‘s culture magazine, has many insights about raising children to be bilingual and also about becoming bilingual (or at least functionally bilingual) as an adult.
A few possible benefits:
- Bilingual people succumb to dementia an average of 4 years later than monolingual people.
- Bilingual people recover more quickly from strokes.
- They are able to plan and complete complicated tasks more quickly than monolingua people.
And I really liked this part:
“Languages learned imperfectly in adulthood – like my Danish – have not shown this effect in the lab. But they may still open the mind to other perspectives. Learning a second language as an adult is usefully humbling: there is nothing quite like being corrected by a three-year-old native speaker. A second language acts as a constant reminder that other people have different knowledge, different points of view from one’s own.”
In other words, bilingual people are likely to be more open-minded and flexible.
Read the rest for more insights.