Bilingual Minds

After reading the article, lots of question pops up in my head. Indeed, just as Ellen Bialyastok said, in the modern world which different countries getting more connected, bilingual became sort of a necessary skill in many circumstances, such as international business or travel industry. (2009)

As a foreigner, born and raised outside of America, which is a non- English environment, I can see it there might be a different value or point of view on bilingual. As English became the international language, Americans pretty much do not need a second language. It might sounds weird and offensive but my point is, to a Chinese guy like me, English is also a necessary language besides my First language. As the article mentioned, there are bilingual speaker that forced to be one and bilingual speaker that choose to be one. (2009) People who are forced are usually because of their parents speak a different language other than the language environment that the child are living in. People who choose to be one simply wants to learn a language and manage to master it. However I do think this thought are mostly focused on English based country. In my country, or city, which is Hong Kong, we are both choose and forced to be a bilingual speaker. We are all Cantonese speaker, which is also the only language we need if we stay in our region. However, because English is the international common language, we will have to learn it if we want to survive in the modern world. English, though is not our main language appears everywhere around my city. For example in the advertisement, on the can soup description or even on a simple toilet sign. What I want to say is that, although we are not forced to lean English like baby born in a bilingual family, we are still forced to learn the language because we need it for regular living actions. Still, technically we choose to become one. It might also be one of the reason Asian children have an impression that they are good at academic work.  On a website call “bilingual parenting” stated that bilingualism actually can produce more grey matter in your brain which heavily affects the ability to learn. (2014)

Bialystok, E., Craik, F., Green, D., & Gollan, T. (2009). Bilingual Minds. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 10(3), 89-129.

Ten amazing facts about bilingualism. (2014, April 1). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://bilingualparenting.com/2014/04/ten-amazing-facts-about-bilingualism/

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4 thoughts on “Bilingual Minds

  1. Hi! I’ve never been to Hong-Kong but I heard (or feel) that a lot of people there speak English and it is becoming a major language. I was thinking that’s partially because Hong-Kong used to be a British colony. In Japan, English is becoming very common, but at the same time a lot of them think that they don’t need to learn because they don’t see a point of studying English.

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  2. I totally agree with you. As english as the neutral language to communicate around the world, Americans don’t really need or don’t really want to learn a new language when majority of people do know how to speak english. But because many Americans did migrate here, english is not their native languages and many are exposed to a second language. Even if they don’t know how to speak it, they might know how to understand it.

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  3. It’s very interesting that English is everywhere in a country where English is not the main language. It may be due to tourism reasons but you made a good point that you need to learn English to survive in the modern world. That grey matter reading is also interesting. I wonder if you keep on producing grey matter after childhood.

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  4. Thanks for your sincere reflection, I find it true that English can be a bit invasive around the world. I have also been to Hong Kong and see all the advertisements that you speak of nick. i seem that for sure English has become a language of Money, Science, Technology and a lot of Education. In a sense it is a world wide language and many Countries are developing their own version of English that helps their own society. Many Nations look to the United States as the standard of Democracy yet more and as the wall fall in the diplomacy of this nation due to their moral decay, and the rejection of God(Jesus Christ) who gave their fore father this land, as they scape the religious oppression of the European world. I too had to adapt to learning English, and yet it was not easy it has open many doors as i have lived here, I in a way feel very privilege to have lived here to learn the language almost naturally not like many children from Peru who need to pay in order to learn, and since their lack of income hinders them from learning this business language they never are able to rise above the oppression brought by money which influences much inequality in Latin America. I think having the means to understand other in their own language is very awesome, and nick you have that ability which many will pay millions just to have that ability, to some it may seem like crazy. but you have shown us with your life it is possible, i give you 2 thumbs up for sticking with it even though it is not something you enjoyed, i know it will benefit you more than hurt you in the long run. Keep up the great work.

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