I thought I would share some interesting research I’ve seen recently, which may be of interest to some of you as well. It may already be common knowledge, but a recent study described in this article and in the below video demonstrates that infants raised in bilingual (and presumably multilingual) environments demonstrate cognitive benefits at a younger age than previously thought.
Another study discussed in the Huffington Post shows the importance of reading aloud to children from birth, which may form part of the “language-rich interactions” that are so beneficial to young children and which may be associated with cognitive benefits years down the road–one study discussed in the article shows that children who grow up among books are”nearly 20 times more likely to graduate from college.”
So! I encourage you to find some time in the day to read to your kids (and if you can, do it in the minority language)! Make it part of your nighttime or morning rituals (or both!) and enjoy the many rewards associate with reading with your children. If you are looking for some recommendations, check out my past ones here. And for any mothers/parents to newborn or young infants out there who are deep in baby-world and can’t stand another kids’ book right now, I highly recommend finding an adult book of interest in your preferred language and read that aloud to them. When N was a newborn and had marathon nursing sessions, reading aloud was often the only thing keeping me awake! (And I confess, I sometimes also read aloud from Facebook–but hey, whatever works!)