Kristin Kinkel formerly served as a head instructor and judge for Varsity Spirit Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee, where she organized summer camps for high school and college cheerleading teams. Kristin Kinkel also entered the field of bilingual education and previously worked for the Hillsboro School District in Oregon as a bilingual education assistant. There are a number of benefits to becoming bilingual, some of which are outlined below.
1. Broadens cultural awareness. Speaking more than one language enables a person to converse with and understand people from different cultures, which helps bridge cultural and geographical divides. This lingual diversity improves an individual’s opportunity to participate in the global community and learn from other cultures.
2. Easier to pick up new languages. Some scientists believe that learning a second language generally makes it easier for the brain to understand and navigate additional languages. According to studies conducted on the subject, learning a second language rewires the brain and improves overall linguistic skills.
3. Improves Cognitive skills. Learning a second language requires the brain to switch between language systems, which increases brain activity and flexibility. Furthermore, the increased brain activity positively impacts its executive control system, an area that controls activities such as multitasking, sustained attention, and high-level thought.
4. Impedes cognitive decline. Due to the brain activity involved in learning multiple languages and the process of switching between them, bilingualism can help maintain cognitive function and slow its decline. For instance, some studies indicate that bilingualism can delay the onset of symptoms related to cognitive degenerative diseases, such as dementia.