On October 12, 2011, an article appeared in The International Herald Tribune, the gist of which I would like to share. It was called “The bilingual brain from early infancy on”, by Perri Klass, MD. In it, Doctor Klass explained that we have moved away from thinking that kids exposed to more than one language would suffer “language confusion”. In fact, kids brought up bilingually “develop crucial skills in addition to their double vocabularies, learning different ways to solve logic problems or to handle multitasking skills which are often considered part of the brain’s so-called executive function.” (Ellen Bialystok, professor of psychology at York University in Toronto)
There is now a relatively new science of bilingualism. More and more research groups using the newest imaging devices have determined that bilingual babies are “more open” (Dr. Patricia Kuhl, professor of speech and hearing sciences, University of Washington). They’re “more cognitively flexible” than monolingual infants. According to Dr. Kuhl, “. . .what you experience shapes the brain.”
Self-centredly, I see this all as reinforcing my belief that Betty & Cat books are good for kids. Whether they’re reading it themselves, or better yet having it read to them, Betty & Cat speak to kids, they never speak down to them. Kids are so smart. They know to skate over the bits they don’t get yet, to look for learning clues elsewhere: in the tone of voice, pictures, and the reader’s expression. Everything about their experience so far has taught them that “tomorrow is another day” and what I don’t get today I will tomorrow. That’s the beauty of learning!