Advantages of bilingualism
According to Professor Colin Baker of the University of Wales, one of the
world's leading experts on bilingualism, these are the advantages of
bilingualism that have been identified by research projects around the
- Bilingual children have two or more words
for objects and ideas, so the links between words and concepts are
looser, allowing more fluent, flexible and creative thinking.
- They can communicate more naturally and
expressively, maintaining a finer texture of relationships with
parents and grandparents, as well as with the local and wider
communities in which they live.
- They gain the benefits of two sets of
literatures, traditions, ideas, ways of thinking and behaving.
- They can act as a bridge between people of
different colours, creeds and cultures.
- With two languages comes a wider cultural
experience, greater tolerance of differences and, perhaps, less
- As barriers to movement between countries
are taken down, the earning power of bilinguals rises.
- Further advantages include raised
self-esteem, increased achievement, and greater proficiency with other
(TESS, 22 March 2002
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