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Friday, May 27, 2016

Bilingualism Trains The Brain; New Research Says Speaking Dialects Also Does This

Speaking Dialects Trains the Brain As Well As Bilingualism Does

Napoleon Katsos | May 23, 2016

There has been a lot of research to back up the idea that people who use two or more languages everyday experience significant advantages. The brain-training involved in having to use a different language depending on the context and speaker is credited with enhancing attention and memory skills – as well as better recovery after stroke and even later onset of the symptoms of dementia. But there is another – often hidden – source of brain-training in language use which many of us are not even aware of: dialects.


<more at; related articles and links: (Kyriakos Antoniou. March 17, 2016) and (The effect of bidialectal literacy on school achievement. Øystein A. Vangsnes, Göran B. W. Söderlund and Morten Blekesaune. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. DOI:10.1080/13670050.2015.1051507. Published online: 14 Aug 2015. [Abstract: The Norwegian language has two written standards, Bokmål (majority variety) and Nynorsk (minority variety), and children receive their schooling in one or other of them. Pupils schooled in Nynorsk acquire the Bokmål variety simultaneously through extracurricular exposure and thus develop what may be termed bidialectal literacy. In this study, we correlate, at municipal level, the results from Norwegian standardized national tests in reading, arithmetic, and English from four cohorts of eighth graders (2009–2012), with available statistics on language of instruction and socio-economic status. The finding is that municipalities with Nynorsk pupils have better than average results in national tests once socio-economic factors are taken into consideration. We suggest that this may be seen as an effect of the ‘bilingual advantage’ in cognitive development and that such advantage may arise even in the case of closely related linguistic varieties.

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