The Benefits of Being Bilingual: Learning Hebrew Language
By: Eden Ortal
Bilingualism, or multilingualism, is said to take part in the cognitive advantages of developing brain tissue; language, being one of the most intense human life experiences, could also enhance domain-general cognitive performance. Different languages being used more frequently in different contexts enhance attention control in individuals. This is because the enhanced cognitive performance of people that are bilingual is due to their continuous inhibition of the non-target language in a specific context in order to resolve competition for selection (since both languages in a bilingual brain are always active). Therefore, brains that are bilingual and constantly working “overtime,” via inhibition, are able to carry these specialized functions over to various non-linguistic cognitive tasks, allowing these individuals to respond faster to non-verbal cues.
Hebrew language is of importance to me because it is my native language, and it is structured very differently compared to the English language. Similar to Spanish, it is very straight forward. Although it might not come easily to many students; it may come easier to students that are already bilingual from a young age, but this does not imply that learning the language is impossible for children who are monolingual. This is due to the fact that a child’s brain is developing so quickly during their first few years of life, it is able to absorb a mass amount of information as well as retain that information. You can read more in a previous blog post by tutor Lauren Vernikov about this theory, the critical period hypothesis. Being bilingual aids in many aspects of learning, but even more-so, Hebrew language not only allows developing students to maximize their efforts, but allows for fun and creative learning!