Being Bilingual Changes the Architecture of Your Brain



Judith Kroll thinks so. She’s a psychologist who studies bilingualism and its cognitive consequences at Pennsylvania State University. “A bilingual’s two languages sometimes converge, but often they compete,” she said this weekend during a presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, DC. When I speak Spanish, it’s not an effortless cognitive switch. My brain needs to actively choose Spanish every time I say a word or construct a sentence. Even after years and years of speaking Spanish every day, I can often feel that work happening. It’s tiring, and switching to English can be a relief.


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