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Bilingual children are more attentive. Wikimedia commons

If your child grew up speaking two different languages, it can shift your attention between different tasks quicker than those who pick up a second language later in life, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that growing up in a bilingual home can provide unexpected cognitive benefits later in life.


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“The findings from our new research with bilingual adults suggest that some of these adaptations, including being quicker at shifting attention, are maintained into adulthood,” said researcher Dean D’Souza of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK.

For the study, the team involved 127 adults in two separate experiments.


Child. Pixabay

The first involved watching pictures on a screen, with one picture gradually changing and the other remaining the same. Early bilinguals noticed these changes much faster than late bilinguals.

The second experiment found that early bilinguals were better at controlling their attention. Specifically, they were quicker at disengaging attention from one picture in order to shift their focus to another.

The team found that children raised in bilingual homes adapt to their more varied and unpredictable language environment by shifting their visual attention faster and more frequently.

The findings of this new study suggest that these adaptations acquired as bilingual infants continue into adulthood, the team said.

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“This study is an exciting extension of our previous research, which suggested that infants raised in bilingual homes adapt to their more complex language environments by switching attention faster and more frequently,” D’Souza said.

“This adaptation may help them to take advantage of multiple sources of visual information, such as mouth movements, facial expressions and subtle gestures, ultimately helping them to learn multiple languages,” D’Souza added. (IANS)


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Kerala Kalamandalam that teaches the globally recognized art form of Kerala -- Kathakali, has for the first time in its history of 90 years, admitted girl students.

In class VII of Kalamadalam, out of 10 students admitted, 9 are girl students for its Kathakali course. Kathakali is a highly masculine art form with even the female characters being portrayed by men. The attempt is being welcomed across the world.

However several women had started practicing Kathakali in 1970 and 1990 and K.K. Gopalakrishnan, renowned art critic of Kerala in his research book, 'Kathakali Dance - Theatre', said that some women from foreign countries had trained for some short-term courses in Kerala on Kathakali.

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Training at Kalamandalam from school days would expose the students to the teaching and guidance of experts and a diverse pool of teachers of the institute who have huge exposure and deep knowledge of the subject. (IANS/JB)


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