×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bilingual Kids Show More Creativity

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the blame-your-parents-for-making-you-dumb dept.

Education 221

An anonymous reader tips news of a study from researchers at the University of Strathclyde which found bilingual children to be significantly more successful at a set of tasks than children who spoke only one language. "The differences were linked to the mental alertness required to switch between languages, which could develop skills useful in other types of thinking." Lead researcher Fraser Lauchlan said, "Bilingualism is now largely seen as being beneficial to children but there remains a view that it can be confusing, and so potentially detrimental to them. Our study has found that it can have demonstrable benefits, not only in language but in arithmetic, problem solving and enabling children to think creatively. We also assessed the children's vocabulary, not so much for their knowledge of words as their understanding of them. Again, there was a marked difference in the level of detail and richness in description from the bilingual pupils."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

221 comments

Multiculturalism (2, Offtopic)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881353)

rocks!

Re:Multiculturalism (0)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881369)

Everybody, get your hands on Rosetta Stone and learn a new language.

Re:Multiculturalism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881479)

That is a great way to learn a language, I am using it to learn spanish on my spare time.

How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881495)

Actually, I can speak, read and write in 7 languages

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881571)

Indeed, I would like to get hands on a wide reaching comparative study involving more languages than two. My guess is that finding people speaking more than 2 languages are not common... and you sir are a real exception.

Not only you speak 7 languages, you have a 4 digit UID... what an honor.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881811)

Fuck off, you ass kissing frog. French talkers are the worst scum on Earth. We should have let the Nazis ass rape every one of them and then nuked the entire cunttree.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (4, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881821)

Indeed, I would like to get hands on a wide reaching comparative study involving more languages than two. My guess is that finding people speaking more than 2 languages are not common... and you sir are a real exception.

Depends on what part of the world you're from. Papua New Guinea has over 1000 living spoken languages, the Solomon Islands has hundreds. Even Vanuatu, where I live, has over 100 spoken languages. It's perfectly commonplace for a child to be fluent in either English or French (depending on which school they attend), both of their parents' native tongues, and Bislama [wikipedia.org] , the lingua franca here. In the course of any given day, I find myself speaking English and Bislama at the office, French with people of French extraction, and sharing greetings and pleasantries in about fifteen (yes: 15) other languages.

Nobody blinks an eye, except for those who observe that a lot of unilingual expats never learn even one other language. I suspect the difference is that I grew up in a mixed English/French-speaking community, and picked up my first 'second' language at a very early age.

I expect that people's facility with multiple languages is what leads to Bislama - a variety of pidgin English - being used so inventively [imagicity.com] , in spite of being particularly impoverished in terms of grammar and vocabulary.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882133)

And the proximity to such a wide variety of languages make it possible to practice them regularly and have a strong incentive to do so. Should I ever visit your country, do you have any recommendation for a good feel of the back country?

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (3, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882197)

Should I ever visit your country, do you have any recommendation for a good feel of the back country?

Here's a primer on how to behave [imagicity.com] (and what kind of behaviour to expect) in Vanuatu. And these people have the best tour packages I've seen [vanuatusanpentour.com] . Feel free to look me up. It's a small place and we all like to welcome visitors.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882753)

Papua New Guinea has over 1000 living spoken languages

 
Of course
 
Places like Africa, India, and Papua New Guinea have a lot of spoken languages, but there is _ONE_ big problem - that's all they have, spoken words, no written word, no way to jot down what they say on paper, et cetera

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881649)

Actually, I can speak, read and write in 7 languages

C, Pascal, Algol, FORTRAN, Basic, Erlang, and Lisp?

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881681)

That doesn't matter. You'll always be a cunt. You'll be a cunt until the day someone splits your skull in half. Then you'll be two half-cunts.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881905)

But that's not bilingualism as studied in the paper. There they compare children who grow up bilingual with those, who learn only one language before they get to school. If you spoke seven languages before turning seven, it would be more interesting in this case.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882735)

Before the age of 7 I only knew 4 languages (mainly spoken). I learned 3 more in adulthood, as well as read and write in all the 7 languages.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#40883095)

Actually, I can speak, read and write in 7 languages

And with all that creative power at your disposal, the nickname you chose was Taco Cowboy?

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40883171)

Do not underestimate the Taco Cowboy.

Re:How about tri-ligual, quad-ligual ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40883187)

I too can speak, read and write and published papers in three different languages. The more language you know, task shifting skills improve and you can talk to more than three different languages with three different people without any problem. Creativity has increased tremendously, so most make joke about my skills "Know all" and the above study is true.

Re:Multiculturalism (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881711)

No thanks. In the amount of time it takes to learn a new spoken/written language, I could have become an expert in any other more useful thing. If you speak English, there's little point to learning a second language. This isn't some arrogant pompous statement. I just mean that, in almost any business or travel situation you are likely to ever be in, the other people are likely going to speak a common tongue -- English.

Some people say "well, gosh, you need to learn another language to be well-rounded and so you can travel". That's bullshit. Great, I learn German. That'll help me for the one week of my life that I ever spend visiting in Germany. How is it going to help me in Japan, China, Mexico, Spain, Canada, France, Norway, Iceland, Russia, Sweden or any other place?

I'm almost 40. I'm a professional. I deal in a highly technical field with other highly technical people from all over the world who are from and working in all parts of the world. Every day, I deal with people who are French, Indian, German, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and countless other nationalities. At no point have I ever thought "gosh, I sure wish I knew ONE of these many languages". It just isn't necessary. Now, if you plan to go live and work in another country, sure. Learn the language. If your whole goal is to be a specialist in arab history, learn arabic. Great. But you don't need to learn a second, third, or even fourth language for most jobs and you certainly don't need it in your day to day life.

Re:Multiculturalism (5, Interesting)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881797)

I wasn't biligual as a child, but I am now at least.

For me, from the moment on I was able to not only communicate, but also think in both languages, a lot changed.
Certain concepts click together easily in one language, but if I had to use the other language to grasp them, I'd get stuck. And it's not always my first language which is superior, as you might expect.

Each language brings with it a different way of thinking, the cultural aspect, that's coded into it.

It's very helpful to switch between languages for different tasks. Kind of like using mutiple virtual desktops.

Re:Multiculturalism (2)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881899)

Learning a language will teach you how to learn a language, which will be useful if you want to learn a few words of German for your holiday.

I started German evening classes a couple of years ago, and was surprised at how two people in the class struggled so much. It turned out they were the only two (of about 14) who had never been taught another language, which was unusual for here (they were immigrants from the US and the Bahamas).

(I could probably do something more useful than learn German, but I could also do something more useful than write this comment.)

Re:Multiculturalism (2)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882565)

Great, I learn German. That'll help me for the one week of my life that I ever spend visiting in Germany. How is it going to help me in Japan, China, Mexico, Spain, Canada, France, Norway, Iceland, Russia, Sweden or any other place?

It would help you a lot. You'd have a better understanding of what it's like to get by in a country without anyone knowing your language. You'd be grateful when people speak their language slowly and clearly and try and help you. Best of all, you can relate much better to the Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, etc. people you meet in your own country.

There are other nice things too. You'd have the experience of the first joke you "get" in a foreign language. The fact that you understand it makes even the crappiest "knock, knock" joke awesomely funny. And for your example specifically: "No one who speaks German could be an evil man".

Re:Multiculturalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881745)

Using Rosetta Stone is ill-advised. It's quite possible the worst self-learning program ever imagined. Clearly whoever wrote those lessons only knew one language, the language of which the reader is learning from.

Re:Multiculturalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881621)

You're either an American, a cunt, or both. Language has nothing to do with it.

Correlation, Causation (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881361)

Alternatively, bilingual children tend to be raised by people with greater drive and skill in problem solving, notably immigrants.

Re:Correlation, Causation (3, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881399)

What about people living in Quebec, a lot people there speaks varying levels of english. Also in Europe, many people learn many languages there too. Cultural isolationism fail.

Re:Correlation, Causation (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881507)

Thinking if it, the must be other parts of the globe people routinely speaks many languages. Slashdoters of the world, would you enlighten us about your particular region?

Re:Correlation, Causation (3, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881803)

Luxembourg is a good example -- people born there (to Luxembourgish parents) tend to speak Luxembourgish, German, French and English.

Many people in Wales speak both English and Welsh.

A huge number of Europeans speak their native language plus English, but how often they use English will depend on their occupation. Some universities give lectures in English (rather than the local language), and some workplaces work in English.

Re:Correlation, Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882425)

and varying levels of French from what I've heard

Re:Correlation, Causation (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881553)

yes.. a lot of them solve problems alright.. problem: no money. solution: move to USA and bilk the welfare system.

Re:Correlation, Causation (2)

oiron (697563) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882139)

Nice and Amerocentric!

If you read TFA, you'd find that the study was of kids who spoke English and Gaelic, or Italian and Sardinian. That kind of assumes British or Italian/Sardinian kids, not immigrants to the US...

Re:Correlation, Causation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882387)

It's clearly about the underpublicized scourge of illegal Sardinian immigration to the U.S.

Don't forget, if it's on Slashdot, it's about the U.S.

Trillingual kids show more adeptability (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881367)

Meanwhile in the world where captain obvious resides, where people become more creative if they use their brain more often....

Cause or Effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881371)

Children better at one thing are better at another!

Some people think bilingualism causes confusion? (5, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881383)

Who the hell thinks this? I grew up in a bilingual household and then took Spanish in high school, so I'm semi-trilingual. Childhood is the best time to learn a new language since children can still hear the differences between phonemes that aren't present in the main society's language.

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881455)

Who? Ardent mono-linguals... ;)

But also children of certain types of immigrants in certain times and places. There's an association with heavily-accented, low-educated sections of the family/community/culture that held them or their parents back. It's a displaced fallacy, the classic painting with too broad a brush, but it's a root of why some carry the idea that bilingualism "causes confusion", or warts, or is just generally 'bad' in some way.

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (3, Funny)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881523)

Je ne sais pas que tipo de confusión ce puede causar.......

(It's a joke -- don't mod me down for using alternate languages...)

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881721)

The curious thing is I read that perfectly, Spanish, French and English being three of the six languages I am fluent in. But I could venture that the latin-based languages like Italian and Portugese hardly count for much because if you know any two of them, you are pretty well equipped to handle yourself in any of the others. I was quite surprised however at how much spoken Romanian I can understand, although I am nowhere near fluent in that language.

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881623)

I think they're just plain jealous.

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (1)

puto (533470) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881677)

My bio dad is Colombian, he hit the road when I was 2, but I lived in Colombia for 8 years on and off, and my spanish is better than most american latinos, punctuation, grammar, abstract concepts, and technical. I took spanish in high school as well, but it no way prepared me to dumped into the ass end of Latino America. I started speaking spanish when I was 20, and at 42 I will bet dollars to donuts I will outclass people who grew up in latino households in the states.

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882163)

... I'm semi-trilingual.

You're mono-and-a-half-lingual?

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (5, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882203)

Who the hell thinks this?

Monolingual zealots (typically of the borderline racist kind). Seriously, YMMV, but the only type of people I've ever seen making this claim are the type not typically happy with people speaking a foreign language around them. I don't understand what they are talking about, so they must be talking about me!!!". It feels like a long time ago, the early 90's when you could still see the bigotry the hatred. It was regular topic in the news, of employers firing their employees because they were talking Spanish or Vietnamese or Creole, or f* Klingon in the parking lot on the way home or during lunch (not on the clock, mind you, not on the clock.)

Now, the rhetoric has shifted from language to immigration status, and to a somewhat lesser degree to Islamic fundamentalism. The later two are based real issues - illegal immigration and Islamic terrorism. However, a significant number of people who bring these issues up do so to rationalize Anti-Hispanic or Islamophobic sentiments, regardless of their connections (or lack thereof) with illegal immigration or Islamic terrorism.

It is a generalization, I know, to say these claims are only made by people uncomfortable with foreign-language speakers. But it has been a generalization that holds true in my experience. YMMV obviously.

It's partly true (2)

Solandri (704621) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882485)

Same with typing. If you take qwerty typists and teach them Dvorak, their qwerty typing speed decreases a bit.

But yeah, I'm bilingual, semi-trilingual as well, and the confusion is very minor. Most of the time you can "switch gears" between the languages without problem (cross-language homophones and the occasional grammatical equivalent can cause a little confusion). But the benefits (allows you to see things missing in the language which mono-linguists take for granted, forces you to recognize there's more than one way to think about things) far outweigh the drawbacks.

Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882625)

Who the hell thinks this?

The same stupid tea-party type trash who think a multi-racial child will be "confused" about who he/she is. You know. Morons.

Studies... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881389)

Perhaps it's just the fact that children that have the opportunity to become bilingual are exposed to a greater variety of situations and therefore can adapt to situations requiring 'creative' thinking.

Obligitory: Think of the children!

Re:Studies... (1)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881883)

Perhaps it's just the fact that children that have the opportunity to become bilingual are exposed to a greater variety of situations and therefore can adapt to situations requiring 'creative' thinking.

Based on my own experience, I suspect the issue is actually that learning new languages exposes you to significantly different patterns of thought. Language really does affect how you conceive of ideas as well as how you express them. I've lived in multilingual environments for pretty much all of my life, and I've often been in situations where people switch from one language to another -sometimes even in mid-sentence- simply because an idea is easier to express in a different language. I've seen this behaviour in Europe, Québec, the South Pacific, Asia and Africa, so I'm inclined to think this phenomenon is universal.

Break out the Rosetta Stone (3, Interesting)

metalmaster (1005171) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881403)

You dont even have to live in a multicultural community. Start early enough and the kid will learn the second language just as easy as they'll pick up on English

Re:Break out the Rosetta Stone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881443)

You dont even have to live in a multicultural community. Start early enough and the kid will learn the second language just as easy as they'll pick up on English

But English is my 2nd language ... hmm you are right, my 2nd language were as easy to pick up as my 2nd language

Re:Break out the Rosetta Stone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881701)

this is true.. my son and niece (he's 2.5, she's about to turn 3) both watch Dora and Diego or whatever those two shows are when they are at their grandparents during the day. Both are picking up on it what I consider very well for only learning off of a TV show.

Diversity in knowlege is pretty usefull (0)

maxbash (1350115) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881447)

Knowing other ways to communicate or approach things is very useful. My boss once questioned my interest in Linux was hindering my abilities in Windows. I pointed out that I was often figured out different approaches to solve a problem when my coworkers got stuck because of my knowledge of Linux. He didn't question my interest in Linux again. I'm sure diversity in doing things instead of single mindedness is nearly always valuable.

Re:Diversity in knowlege is pretty usefull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881471)

linux will never catch on.

Research seems to support you in this (4, Interesting)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881781)

I'm sure diversity in doing things instead of single mindedness is nearly always valuable.

Lera Boroditsky [stanford.edu] 's research has come up with results that challenge some basic assumptions in linguistics. One such finding is that rather than language simply expressing thought processes, it shapes mental models of the world.

Re:Research seems to support you in this (1)

Fnordulicious (85996) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882725)

What ‘basic assumptions’ are you referring to? That particular claim is at least as old as Grandpa Sapir, if not much older. I am completely unaware of any theories that depend on the negation of that as an assumption. Indeed, in much of linguistic theory today the rest of the mind is considered to be irrelevant or at least abstracted away from so that it doesn’t complicate the (already fiendishly complicated) models. If you’re referring to things like the various cognitive grammar theories, then you’ve missed the point. Those instead take the assumption that generalized mental capacity can be exapted for grammatical processes (thus obviating the need for a specialized universal grammar faculty), not the other way around.

Re:Diversity in knowlege is pretty usefull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881869)

You should learn to construct a sentence in one language before you worry about a second one. You are a pseudo-intellectual cunt.

California Public Schools (2)

SageMusings (463344) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881469)

How does the disparity in performance among Hispanic kids factor into this study?

Re:California Public Schools (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881567)

In a word, No. they did not study Hispanic kids in California. The first sentence of the link is:

A study of primary school pupils who spoke English or Italian- half of whom also spoke Gaelic or Sardinian- found that the bilingual children were significantly more successful in the tasks set for them. The Gaelic-speaking children were, in turn, more successful than the Sardinian speakers.

Without knowing anything about the demographics of Scotland and Sardinia I couldn't even guess about what other factors might correlate with bilingually there... it might be very different than how many bilingual Americans are recent immigrants, and thus at a disadvantage due to poverty in addition to whatever language barrier exists.

Re:California Public Schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881579)

well california is not a good example. Hispanics and blacks in california get the worst education available. Is like someone is trying to keep these people
dumb.

How does the disparity in performance among Hispanic kids factor into this study?

Re:California Public Schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881835)

try again.

no shit sherlock... (1)

tryptogryphic (1985608) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881497)

And the results of this study are a surprise...why? Of course children who have the discipline, tenacity and motivation to learn and switch between two languages are going to be better at most things...language is a multifaceted mental effort, one of the highest degree...if they can learn and master two languages its should be a no-brainer they can do most other things better as well.

I guess some people need science to validate things before they actually agree / approve.

Re:no shit sherlock... (3, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881973)

And the results of this study are a surprise...why? Of course children who have the discipline, tenacity and motivation to learn and switch between two languages are going to be better at most things...language is a multifaceted mental effort, one of the highest degree...if they can learn and master two languages its should be a no-brainer they can do most other things better as well.

I think you're missing the point. In many, many parts of the world, people learn two or three languages before they even start school. In East Africa, you learn your parents' language and ki-Swahili; in Indonesia and Malaysia, it's parental language(s) plus Bahasa and sometimes Arabic; in the Philippines, it's parental language(s) plus Tagalog plus English. The list goes on. It's simply taken for granted. I don't think the study is saying that learning language makes you smarter per se; it's saying that certain kinds of problems are easier for children who use more than one language on a regular basis.

If I've read it right, this is on the level of stating that people who grow up in mountainous areas with few vehicles generally show greater leg strength across the board. It's not suggesting that there aren't stronger and weaker children within that sample. I personally know some functionally illiterate people who can speak 4-6 languages fluently. They're not special; they're just a product of the environment they grew up in.

... It is disappointing, however, to see how unimaginative unilingual people can sometimes be. Maybe it's perceptual bias on my part, but I feel that I encounter more zero-sum, black/white logic from unilingual people than from multilingual people.

Selection bias. (0, Troll)

outsider007 (115534) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881531)

Those kids who spoke Gaelic may have had something else in common, perhaps a propensity toward alcoholism. Shall we link that to bilingualism as well?

Re:Selection bias. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882645)

Those kids who spoke Gaelic may have had something else in common, perhaps a propensity toward alcoholism. Shall we link that to bilingualism as well?

The 19th century called. It wants its stereotypes back. What's next? Saying Catholics and non-Anglo people can never be "real Americans?"

Just a thought (1)

randumuser (2603767) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881533)

I speak English, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and Italian so I have a lot of friends from very different backgrounds, at least that's why I'd like to think. Here's how I categorize my friends: *Cool, funny, creative, and usually atheist friends with whom I just happen to click, the type of friends that gets the slightest of references from a movie, a TV show, pop-culture or even a sitcom: Most speak 2-3 languages. * Other friends, they are spectacularly average at everything most of the time and I feel like I have superpowers when I'm around them: they all speak one language, Hebrew, and most were terrible English speakers. If I am to come up with a more specific claim I'd say people I know who don't know English well are less intelligent that those who do.

Now, time to shove it down their throats (2)

ebunga (95613) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881537)

Since it's for their own good, time to shove fourteen languages down the their throats in forced mandatory education. Stop concentrating on math and science, start concentrating on languages. Veuillez considérer le bien-être des enfants.

Re:Now, time to shove it down their throats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881891)

Or to do that when kids can't even communicate well in their own native language English...

copyright -> copywrite, brake -> brake, then than, effect -> affect
for -> 4, to ->2 and other text-speak crap

Re:Now, time to shove it down their throats (0)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882001)

Since it's for their own good, time to shove fourteen languages down the their throats in forced mandatory education. Stop concentrating on math and science, start concentrating on languages. Veuillez considérer le bien-être des enfants.

Qu'est-ce qui te fais penser que l'algèbre n'est pas une langue?

(TR: What makes you think Algebra isn't a language?)

What they really need is formal grammar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882429)

When a kid can express their statement in Extended Backus-Naur Form, then they really understand it.

left wing media (0, Flamebait)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881597)

so a university, probably a 'progressive' organization, manipulates stats to praise some aspect of 'multiculturalism' for an obvious profit motive. what a shock. perhaps it's just that those who can learn languages quickly are simply smarter people.

Re:left wing media (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881731)

This isn't the first time I've heard this. I remember years ago (talking 10+) research had shown bi-lingual people tended to be "smarter" and more successful

Re:left wing media (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881857)

so a university, probably a 'progressive' organization, manipulates stats to praise some aspect of 'multiculturalism' for an obvious profit motive. what a shock. perhaps it's just that those who can learn languages quickly are simply smarter people.

In case you didn't read the article before your reactionary flamebait comment, notice the study was done in Scotland with Scottish children (some speak Gaelic), and in Sardinia with Sardinian children (some speak Sardinian). Hardly multicultural.

Eye Caramba!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881653)

Just think if Bart didn't know a few words of Spanish how stupid he would be.

Old cliche (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881673)

A person who speaks three languages is trilingual; a person who speaks two languages is bilingual; a person who speaks one language is — American.

which language? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881757)

Assuming they are talking about English as main language, is the second language Spanish or French? Or harder language like Japanese or German? German and Japanese have different sentence structure, where as Spanish and French your mostly just learning words and not grammar.. Do these kids often use the second language? Maybe BECAUSE they are creative, they want to learn a second language.

Another pointless study.

Re:which language? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882671)

Wow. Someone should clearly put you on the NSF review committee because you are so adept at looking past all the complex variables and getting to the real point: you don’t agree. Impressive.

Guesswork on my part, but (2, Insightful)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881875)

Since much of our thinking is actually affected by language, and language structures vary sometimes greatly (e.g. Chinese vs English), integrating an additional language into a mind seems highly likely to expand general mental capacity. Perspective is perhaps an underrated element. I am no linguist, but as I understand, a language such as English suffers a lot of nouns. Since most 'things' are actually not nouns, but motions in space/time, a language centered more around the verb may offer advantages. I find Alfred Korzybski's E-Prime [wikipedia.org] quite intriguing. I think one interesting example might be the Chinese word for "fist" -- which i think in Cantonese is something like (pinyin) quan? -- , a noun in English, but an action or verb in Chinese. Maybe I am going a bit far with this, but it would seem to me that any form of exercise and added pliability would offer more capacity for mental tasks. But of course, not in all matters, i.e. mathematics.

I remember taking introductory German as a teenager and thinking differently because of it. While it didn't have me asking random strangers for their papers or hording bratwursts, I did feel more capable and confident because of it. Though I suppose this may be true of any substantial exercise, whether linguistic or otherwise.

Uhhhhm, no. (1, Funny)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about a year and a half ago | (#40881971)

I speak three languages and I'm about as creative as a dialtone. This finding is bogus - Canadians are billingual, why don't they have a space program?

Re:Uhhhhm, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882399)

Well we do have that robotic arm (Canadarm) which was a big deal in the 80s and is still used. And ya, they dedicate entire lesson plans in schools bragging about it :)

Creativity takes many forms other than engineering. Ever notice how many comedians are from Canada?

Creative = better at a "set of tasks?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882461)

Well, they didn't really say creative, or at least that wasn't the main point. They said "better at completing a set of tasks." How that translates to creativity was left as a bit of a mystery, it wasn't really well explained in the article.

Programming languages (1)

zzyzyx (1382375) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882015)

Could we speculate about whether the same effect could be observed with computer languages ? I think a lot of people would agree that studying another computer language, especially if it has differing base paradigms (functional, OO, procedural, dynamic, static, etc.) would give them new hindsights when they came back to their "main" language.

Re:Programming languages (1)

Spacejock (727523) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882437)

I've always said computer programming should be moved to the Arts faculty in universities. Getting kids to study the highest-level math when most computer programming involves syntax and logic is insane. English is my first language but I'm fluent in Spanish after growing up there, and I also have enough French get by. I did an arts degree at uni in the 80's, but in the late 90's I went back and got a computing degree as well. I don't remember a whole lot of math usage during my studies, and I acheived an 80-85% average over the three years. (I flunked Math in high school, btw, which is how I ended up doing an Arts degree in the first place.)

ah, but WHICH language? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882021)

From the article: "The Gaelic-speaking children were, in turn, more successful than the Sardinian speakers." (these being the tri-lingual ones; everyone in the study knew English and Italian)

Gaelic helps you more than Sardinian. I wonder if Gaelic alone (not studied) also beats the English-Italian combo. Gaelic makes you smart, or Sardinian makes you dumb.

Considering just single languages, might some be better for you mind than others? Might this help some countries get ahead while hurting others? Perhaps Japanese is better for you than Haitian. There could be numerous countries that would benefit from complete language replacement.

Intelligence (1)

frank249 (100528) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882039)

I found something similar when I was doing my psychology thesis in 1990. I found that my bilingual participants, when compared to uni-lingual participants, had a statistically significant difference in their high school leaving grades, first year university grades and on a test of general mental ability (g). At the time I thought it made sense as the same abilities you use to learn a second language (memory, language skills, cognition) are also measures that an individual needs to learn academic subjects. I did not look at creativity but problem solving is a related ability and is considered a component of g. I think Schmidt and Hunter [onetest.com.au] were right when they said every measure of success is related to g.

Sounds like the liberal media... (4, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882169)

...trying to brainwash us into teaching our kids languages other than American!

Californinglish (2)

kerneloops (2629783) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882259)

I have two tri-lingual kids, with Chinese and Finnish spoken at home, and 'Mmerican English at school. I think the American school system is negating any advantage they may have had. I kid people! It's the Californinglish that's destroying their chances :)

Re:Californinglish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882553)

Whatever screwed up dialect of a language your kids are exposed to is not as much of an issue. The point is the process, not the language.

I speak fluent gibberish... (1)

JackAxe (689361) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882293)

Does that count as bilingual?

Re:I speak fluent gibberish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882421)

It would if it was authentic frontier gibberish. Otherwise, you're just a sidewindin' bushwhackin' hornswagglin' cracker croaker.

On the other hand, if you speak Jive...

Jiveman1: Sheeeet, man, that honkey mus' be messin' my old lady
got to be runnin' col' upsihd down his head!
Subtitle: GOLLY, THAT WHITE FELLOW SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM MY WIFE
OR I WILL PUNCH HIM.
Jiveman2: Hey Holm, I can dig it! You know he ain't gonna lay no
mo' big rap upon you man!
Subtitle: YES, HE IS WRONG FOR DOING THAT.
Jiveman1: I say hey sky, s'other say I won say I pray to J I get
the same ol' same ol.
Subtitle: I KNEW A MAN IN A SIMILAR PREDICAMENT, AND HE ENDED UP
BEING SORRY.
Jiveman2: Knock yourself a pro slick. Gray matter back got
perform' us' down I take TCBin, man'.
Subtitle: DON'T BE NAIVE ARTHUR. EACH OF US FACES A CLEAR MORAL
CHOICE.
Jiveman1: You know wha' they say: See a broad to get that bodiac
lay'er down an' smack 'em yack 'em.
Subtitle: EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE, MAKES A MAN HEALTHY,
WEALTHY AND WISE.
Together: Col' got to be! Yo!
Subtitle: HOW TRUE!
Together: Sheeeeeeet!
Subtitle: GOLLY.

Speaking sardinian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882299)

What are they, Aquaman?

Recycled news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882359)

This is *very* old news, sorry.

Native language feedback (4, Interesting)

bidule (173941) | about a year and a half ago | (#40882515)

Seeing how the "same" word translate differently in another language helps to fix in your mind the differences between:
- capitol / capital
- principle / principal
- affect / effect
- its et al
- theirs et al

I could go on, but these silly mistakes mostly happen to speakers ignorant of their own native language. Bilingualism kills that ignorance.

Ch 4 News Team (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882545)

"Looks like we got ourselves a bi-lingual bloodbath here." was the first thing that popped into my mind.

If caught (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40882681)

If I caught one of my kids speaking spanish i would smack the bean paste off theirs lips.

While I think that is a good skill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40883027)

I also think that a kid that is taught two languages generally would have more involved parents to begin with which would go a long ways.

Portal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40883121)

Well, the only thing I can say right now is that my bilingual son (Chinese / French) started solving Portal then Portal 2 problems by himself at around 2 years old.
No idea if it's common, but I'm proud anyway ;)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...