What would you do if you woke up thinking and speaking one language, but by the afternoon, after a bike ride, you could only speak an entirely different language, with no knowledge of the one you spoke earlier in the day? How would you feel? What would you do? Well, that is exactly what happened to Hannah Jenkins after a bicycling accident where she collided with another cyclist. After being airlifted to a hospital in critical condition, Hannah woke up in a UK hospital unab
It seems like a lot of language-related blogs and websites I come across are fed up with polyglots. Not every polyglot, but those on YouTube or in clickbait ads, touting their ability to speak dozens of languages and offering to teach you how to do the same (for a price). These showy polyglots’ appeal is easy to understand: It’s pretty amazing to see someone effortlessly switch from one language to another…to another. And it’s awesome to think that you, too, could learn to
In a recent study from Concordia University, researchers asked five- and six-year-old monolingual and bilingual children questions like whether ducks raised by dogs would act like ducks or like dogs. More bilingual than monolingual kids said the ducks would act like dogs – which, to the researchers, indicates that bilingual children are more open-minded than their monolingual peers. It’s good news for me, since my son is growing up in a bilingual home. But I think it’s impo
I’ve been speaking to my French in-laws in their native language for the past week. But when my nine-month-old spits up all over the reindeer sweater we’ve just bought him, the first thing out of my mouth is in my native language: “Oh my God!” From Ricky Ricardo, to real life, it seems to be a general rule that when it comes to expressing surprise or strong emotions, bilingual people will revert back to their native language every time. But should we try to change our ways?
Bilinguals learning a second language at an early age are growing in number in our increasingly global and racially mixed society. Until now, the notion has been one of unbalanced development: learning two languages simultaneously while growing up, you will have one “dominant” language that develops faster and shows a greater level of complexity than the second. In people learning a second language later in life, the disparity between the two languages is heard as an accent