Download and share this fun poster with your students and colleagues to show how being bilingual can make your more creative.
People who know two or more languages make our world more colorful. They can tell you about early Renaissance art and can also pronounce the names of the artists ... correctly. They can speak with a flourish and cadence that sounds like a classic song. They can even whip up a batch of chocolate éclairs that would make you say “ooh la la!” In our opinion, people who speak more than one language are some of the most creative in the world.
Here are just a few (totally objective) reasons why:
- People who know more than one language are better able to utilize a distinct area of the brain called Broca’s area. As infinite connections between words and languages are made in the brain, these thinkers are able to better think creatively and abstractly.
- 1,596,234: The number of people who tuned in to the TedTalk by linguist Patricia Kuhl as she explained how bilingualism helped babies as young as six months old make use of sophisticated creative reasoning.
- Did you know that in Japanese, there are two words for the color blue? (One refers to lighter shades of blue and the other refers to darker ones.) Because different languages vary so much in vocabulary, people who speak two languages are able to perceive things like color differently.
- A group of 60 bilingual students were studied alongside 60 of their one-language-speaking peers. The researchers found a noticeable difference in the level of detail and richness in descriptions by the bilingual student—proof that they think more colorfully.
- Bilingual children showed a statistically significant increase in mathematical creativity (that’s code for thinking outside of the box) as early as 45.4 months. That’s less than four years old.
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.