Language Processing in the Bilingual Brain

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Introduction With the rapid development of globalization, international business, and education in the last century, bilingualism has become a necessary skill in enabling communication across national borders and overcoming cultural differences. This social phenomenon has caused bilingual education to expand rapidly, and according to the Hanen Centre, the number of bilinguals today is equivalent to those of monolinguals. However, this leads to a fundamental question: how are bilinguals and monolinguals different in their thought process? In order to understand this distinction, this essay will respond to the question: discuss how the advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism reflect the possible various language memory stores. Therefore, language acquisition, potential models of memory in the bilingual brain, and the cognitive advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism seen in children will be explored, in order to assess whether the expansion of bilingualism is a positive influence on the world. Discussion Language Acquisition of Bilingual Children Before examining the effects of bilingualism, language acquisition of two or more radically different languages must be investigated, for this process is significant in the shaping of a bilingual’s language representation and thus the impacts of bilingualism he or she experiences. According to Hanen Centre’s article, “Bilingualism in Young Children”, children can learn multiple languages in one of two ways – simultaneous acquisition, in which children are exposed to bilingual environments since birth, and sequential acquisition, in which children learn their second language when “the first language is well-established (generally after the age of three)” (Lowry, “Bilingual... ... middle of paper ... ...ilingualism in Young Children: Separating Fact from Fiction. Hanen Centre. Web. 30 May 2014. . Newcastle University. "Bilinguals See the World in a Different Way, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 May 2014. . Perry, Susan. "BrainFacts.org." The Bilingual Brain -. Society for Neuroscience, 1 Sept. 2008. Web. 30 May 2014. . Schwartz, Casey. "Why It's Smart to Be Bilingual." Newsweek 158.7 (2011). Questia School. Cengage Learning. Web. 30 May 2014. Swift, Diana. "Bilingualism and the Better Brain." Anglican Journal 138.9 (2012). Questia School. Cengage Learning. Web. 30 May 2014.

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