Download and share this fun poster with your students and colleagues to show how learning a second (or third) language can make you smarter.
People who know two (or more) languages are just plain smart. They can tell the difference between “embarazada” and “embarrassed.” They can ace their math test and their science test all in the same day. They can even impress their friends with extraordinary feats of vocabulary as they discern new words from second-language roots. In our opinion, bilingual people are just plain smart.
Here are just a few (totally objective) reasons why:
- In a Florida study, kids who knew two languages scored an average of 23 to 34 points higher on both math and language arts standardized tests than kids who only spoke one language.
- Babies raised in bilingual homes demonstrated superior cognitive ability—specifically the ability to seek new stimuli more quickly—as early as seven months old. (And according to the National Academy of Sciences, that’s an early indicator of a high IQ.)
- Fifty-four percent of preschool-age bilingual children are able to easily distinguish the meanings of words. (Most children aren’t able to do this until elementary school.)
- People who know more than one language are able to pay attention for 20% longer on average than their one-language-speaking friends. (Now that certainly would come in handy during a long class period, wouldn’t it?)
- Bilingual people have 0.05 cubic millimeters of gray matter in the parietal regions of their brains. (In plain English, people who speak more than one language have more dense gray matter in their brains, making them smarter.)
This classroom poster is a part of our Language Learning by the Numbers classroom poster series that Middlebury Interactive Languages developed in collaboration with WeAreTeachers.