Wednesday October 23, 2019

‘Bilingual children are better than monolinguals at problem solving’

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Toronto: Kids who can speak in two or more languages have a better command on routine functioning, reveals a study.

According to researchers, bilingual children are better than monolinguals at a certain type of mental control, and those children with more practice switching between languages have even greater skills.

“This switching becomes more frequent as children grow older and as their vocabulary size increases,” said senior author of the study, Diane Poulin-Dubois from Concordia University in Montreal, published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

“Therefore, the superior performance on these conflict tasks appears to be due to bilinguals’ strengthened cognitive flexibility and selective attention abilities as they have increased experience in switching across languages in expressive vocabulary,” Dubois added.

“For the most part, there was no difference between the bilingual and monolingual toddlers,” Poulin-Dubois stated.

It was not surprising to the researchers that the bilingual children performed significantly better on the conflict inhibition tasks than did their monolingual counterparts, the study found. (IANS)

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10 Indian Languages Used By Less Than 100 Indians

Less than 100 Indians use these 10 languages

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International Day of Indigenous Languages
International Day of Indigenous Languages on 9th August raises concern over Indian vernacular languages going extinct. Pixabay

At about 450 living languages, India’s rich linguistic heritage is one to be proud of and be conserved. On Friday, as the world celebrates International Day of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) though it is worrisome that at least 5 Indian languages are extinct, and 10 have less than 100 speakers all over the country.

As per the online chapter of Unesco Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 197 languages in India are either vulnerable, endangered or extinct.

The extinct languages are Ahom, Andro, Rangkas, Sengmai, Tolcha — all spoken in the Himalayan belt.

It’s not all gloom and doom for 81 Indian languages — including Manipuri, Bodo, Garhwali, Ladakhi, Mizo, Sherpa and Spiti — but they are still in the “vulnerable” category and need organised effort to undergo a revival.

Globally, there are around 7,000 languages in the world today.

extinct indian languages
Unesco Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger reveals that 197 languages in India are either vulnerable or extinct. Pixabay

“About 97 per cent of the world’s population speaks only 4 per cent of these languages, while only 3 per cent of the world speak 96 per cent of all remaining languages,” as per Unesco.

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A great majority of those languages, spoken mainly by indigenous people, continue to disappear at an alarming rate.

Of thousands of indigenous languages spoken today, four in 10 are in danger of disappearing, rights experts had said ahead of the IYIL, in a call for a decade of action to reverse the “historic destruction” of age-old dialects. (IANS)