Friday, April 18, 2008

Are Bilingual's More Intelligent?

A classmate's post got me thinking about the brain, and its capacity to deal with situations. Considering language and all its complexity, and the differences between languages, I would say that our brains have quite a job to sort it all out. I haven't read too much about the differences in the physiological make up of the brain, and the similarities or differences between the brain of the monolingual, and that of the bilingual individual, but I would imagine that bilinguals develop greater neural pathways (can anyone help me support that), in the brain. If this is the case, then more pathways means greater chance of mental flexibility and better conceptualizations. I have to try and read up on this and find support for this idea, however.
For the person learning a second language therefore, they go through the process of creating new or stronger pathways, that are able to link between ideas already established in their L1 and new concepts in the new language. Having these strong links, and ability to access paradigms outside just one language conceptualizations, makes it possible for the individual to think more 'outside the box.' Even if this doesn't make them more intelligent, it at least makes them more creative... What say you?
Steven Mondy


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