FAQ: Is being bilingual a cognitive burden?

Bilinguals have consistently shown to have cognitive advantages: planning, problem solving and performing mentally demanding tasks. Bilinguals also are better at ignoring distractions, staying focused, switching attention willfully from one thing to another and keeping information in mind (i.e. remembering long sequences of instructions). Research also links bilingualism to a delay in the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A possible reason for these cognitive advantages is that languages are permanently activated and the speaker has to decide which language to use for every word. This causes a continuous brain workout.

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