Learning a second language like Spanish or any other language for that matter, makes the brain nimble! according to psychologists and language researchers. I liked this article published in The New York Times, March 18, 2012. Studies show that learning a foreign language as an adult will stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s like exercise for the mind.
My stretch this month is to continue to use past tenses as I expand my Spanish vocabulary. It’s very helpful to step outside the English-speaking expat community comfort zone and our recent trip to the Sierra Norte offered Just that.
The challenge for any immigrant — like me living in Mexico or Mexicans living in the U.S. — is to learn a new language without giving up the mother tongue and cultural identity. This is especially true for second generation immigrants who want to assimilate I think about the U.S. school system and the anti-immigrant voices saying “learn English or go back where you came from.”
Hopefully, articles like these will increase our understanding of and appreciation for the richness that being bilingual offers for the individual and for society. I would think we want to promote smarter and healthier people.