What researchers say about bilingualism before the age of 10?

Did you know more than half the world is at least bilingual?

India recognises 24 official languages, South Africa has 11 and Zimbabwe lists 16. Even in countries like Australia, where English is the de-facto tongue, there are still at least 250 First Nation languages spoken.
To be monolingual is to be in the minority.
Yet while bilingualism is the human norm, it’s only recently that hard scientific evidence about the benefits of learning languages has become widely available and corrected some common misconceptions and myths.

Read on to learn what research says about the benefits of bilingualism in childhood and to learn about some popular myths that have been debunked.

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The Benefits of Bilingualism
There is no doubt that speaking more than one language has social, economic, and even health benefits.
Children who speak more than one language will grow up to communicate across barriers, work across borders and enjoy a wider variety of music, art, humor and friendships. Humans adopted language learning early on to survive, trade, and thrive.
Along with increased human capital, some experts argue speaking multiple languages can lead to higher incomes. The Economist crunched the numbers and estimated that knowing a second language can earn you up to $128,000 over 40 years.
As we know, money talks, so for nations who want to trade, there are wider economic benefits to language proficiency.
One study in the United Kingdom found that deficient language skills and the assumption that "everyone speaks English" cost the country’s economy around $65 billion a year.
There is also growing scientific evidence to show that the increased neural pathways generated by language learning delay the onset of dementia in the elderly and enable stroke victims to recover brain functions faster.
With a greater understanding of the benefits of bilingualism, the move to celebrate and encourage it has grown in recent years. Currently, 44 US states and Washington, D.C. have approved the Seal of Biliteracy, awarded to students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.
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