8/13/2007 Health Notes

 

In addition to stretching their minds intellectually, learning two languages allows children to stretching their understanding of people beyond their dominant culture. Being able to step into another culture through its language is like being able to live a second life. Although some bilingual children do not have a lot of exposure to the culture of their second language, the language itself conveys much of the culture of the people who speak that language. Further, even if children are not living with native speakers of their second language (who are fully a part of the culture associated with the child's second language) in their house or community, they are still likely to be exposed to original songs and stories from that culture. Bilingual children have some experience seeing how different cultures cause different people to interpret completely differently the exact same circumstance. [Example] Seeing two different cultures internally helps bilingual children realize that much of what is considered universal human behavior within a culture may be unique to that culture. This awareness and understanding of differences between people prepares children to reserve judgment when they see someone respond inappropriately to a situation

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August 13, 2007

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