The Cognitive, Social & Cultural Benefits of Bilingualism
Bilingualism opens many cognitive and cultural pathways for young students. These benefits rest at the heart of what we accomplish at FASPS.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, bilingualism has become the norm. According to United Nations figures, up to 80% of the world’s population speaks at least two languages, and three languages is not uncommon. One fifth of the population in the United States describe themselves as “bilingual.” Bilingualism is a hallmark of the 21st century.
In the past 50 years, neuroscientists and psychologists have uncovered a wealth of scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that learning another language at a young age strengthens cognitive and linguistic development in children.
As a result of these cognitive "boosts" received early in life, students who are bilingual perform highly in academic settings. The list below highlights some of the many benefits of being a bilingual student:
  • They acquire strong analytical and critical-thinking skills at an earlier age.
  • They are able to focus more intently and for longer periods of time, and can switch between tasks more efficiently.
  • Becoming bilingual at an early age increases vocabulary, knowledge of grammar and recognition of sounds and visual signs. This leads to better writing and speaking skills.
  • Bilinguals develop flexible problem-solving abilities which strengthen their math and science skills.
  • Bilingualism also fosters cross-cultural interaction; in the classroom, it is the most effective tool for promoting an open-minded and global worldview for students and creating a multicultural context for learning.
  • Learning another language is the most fundamental aspect of becoming fully immersed in another culture.
  • Bilingualism has been linked to lower the risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia in adults.
FASPS parent Aurelie McKinstry wrote a fabulous article about her experience with bilingual education as a parent at FASPS (click here).
To find scholarly articles on topics such as bilingualism, bilingual education, bilingual advantages, and more, search Google Scholar.
And for even more information about bilingualism, we have collected some of our favorite articles from recent years below.
Articles on the Benefits of Bilingualism:

Recent Articles on Bilingualism:

For articles in the news on bilingualism published in May 2023, click here.
  • April 24, 2023: “Cardona Sets Goal of Multilingualism for All Students” Click Here
  • April 21, 2023: “Why Being Bilingual Can Open Doors for Children With Developmental Disabilities” Click Here
  • April 21, 2023: “Bilinguals React More Emotionally to Mother Tongue” Click Here
  • April 19, 2023: “Inaugural Translate-a-thon Allows Bilingual Students to Engage With Literature” Click Here
  • April 17, 2023: “Raising the Bar for Students Through Multilingual Education” Click Here
  • April 16, 2023: “Multilingualism Can Slow Down Dementia” Click Here
  • April 12, 2023: “The Bilingual Brain” Click Here
  • April 11, 2023: “Complex languages might shape bilingual brains differently” Click Here
  • April 11, 2023: “Reading Materials: A Selection to Enthuse Your Students” Click Here
  • April 8, 2023: “Bilingualism Dropping in Canada, While Feds Spend Billions Promoting French” Click Here
  • April 6, 2023: “Bilingualism Is a Superpower at Model UN” Click Here
  • April 5, 2023: Does the Visual Word Form Area Split in Bilingual Readers? A Millimeter-scale 7-T fMRI Study (Click Here)
  • April 5, 2023: “The Power of Language: Five Ways Multilingual Brains Work Differently” Click Here
  • April 3, 2023: “Education Expert: Uplift Bilingual Children by Dispelling Myths and Improving Dual-language Learning” Click Here
  • April 3, 2023: “For Bilinguals, Identity Is Influenced by Language” Click Here (The Power of Language: How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds)
  • March 30, 2023: “Bilingual Patients With Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Show Higher Network Organization” Click Here
  • March 30, 2023: “The Evolution of Terms Describing English Learners: An ELL Glossary” Click Here
  • March 24, 2023: “The Benefits of Learning a New Language” Click Here
  • March 24, 2023: “Disrupting the Monolinguistic Culture of the U.S. Education System” Click Here
  • March 24, 2023: “Why Multilingualism Is a ‘Superpower’” Click Here
  • March 16, 2023: “‘Learning the Way Another Culture Thinks,’ With CUSD French and Spanish Teacher, Maylen Rafuls” Click Here
  • March 13, 2023: “14 Bilinguals Reveal Something Only They Know” Click Here
  • March 10, 2023: “Cardona Raises the Bar for U.S. Bilingualism” Click Here
  • March 9, 2023: “How Dyslexia Changes in Other Languages” Click Here
  • March 7, 2023: “‘When Two Languages Interact, You Create a Different Kind of Human Being’” Click Here
  • March 2, 2023: “Washington State Superintendent Wins National Bilingual Education Leadership Award” Click Here
  • February 28, 2023: “One Brain, Many Languages” Click Here
  • February 26, 2023: “Bilinguals Are Less Sensitive to Mood Changes in Their Second Language” Click Here
  • February 23, 2023: “Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona at the NABE 52nd Annual International Bilingual and Bicultural Education Conference” Click Here
  • February 21, 2023: “Mind Your Tongue — Exploring the Bilingual World” Click Here
  • February 17, 2023: “America Should Take a Multilingual Approach to Education” Click Here
  • February 17, 2023: “Using Artificial Intelligence to Support Emergent Bilingual Students in the Classroom” Click Here
  • February 13, 2023: “Multilingualism Strong Among Europeans, Less So Among Native English Speakers” Click Here
  • February 13, 2023: “Dual-language Program Helps Connect Family on Two Continents” Click Here
  • February 11, 2023: “How Multilingual Couples Express Their Love Across Languages” Click Here
  • February 6, 2023: “Why Bringing Up Your Child as Bilingual Is Best” Click Here
  • February 5, 2023: “Multilingualism: An Enrichment for Children’s Lives” Click Here
  • February 2, 2023: “Know More Than One Language? Don’t Give It Up!” Click Here
  • February 1, 2023: “Bilingual Education Benefits” Click Here
  • February 1, 2023: “The Lifelong Benefits of Early Bilingual Education” Click Here
  • January 29, 2023: “Exclusive Excerpt: A Long Way from Iowa: From the Heartland to the Heart of France” | Click Here
  • January 29, 2023: “How Miami Dade College Teaches Students to Learn, Live in a Bilingual World” | Click Here
  • January 27, 2023: “The Benefits of Being Bilingual” | Click Here