While bilingual individuals enjoy the obvious advantages that come with being able to communicate in a language apart from their mother tongue, Welsh researchers at Bangor University hope to uncover other less apparent benefits of speaking a second language.
Preliminary research has shown that the complex processing entailed in speaking another language may shield the brain from the aging process, including age-related memory loss. According to one linguistics researcher “The very act of being able to speak, listen, and think in two languages and of using two languages on a daily basis appears to sharpen people’s abilities to pay close attention to aspects of tasks relevant to good performance.”
Researchers are looking to recruit 700 participants between the ages of 2 and 80 years old to take part in the study. The subjects will be asked to complete some basic language tests followed by puzzles and tasks displayed on a computer monitor.
Read more about the planned research study at BBC News