Brain research suggests: If your child is bilingual, learning additional languages later might be easier

first_imgEmail It is often claimed that people who are bilingual are better than monolinguals at learning languages. Now, the first study to examine bilingual and monolingual brains as they learn an additional language offers new evidence that supports this hypothesis, researchers say.The study, conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, suggests that early bilingualism helps with learning languages later in life.“The difference is readily seen in language learners’ brain patterns. When learning a new language, bilinguals rely more than monolinguals on the brain processes that people naturally use for their native language,” says the study’s senior researcher, Michael T. Ullman, PhD, professor of neuroscience at Georgetown. Pinterest Share LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter “We also find that bilinguals appear to learn the new language more quickly than monolinguals,” says lead author Sarah Grey, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of modern languages and literatures at Fordham University. Grey worked with Ullman and co-author Cristina Sanz, PhD, on this study for her PhD research at Georgetown. Sanz is a professor of applied linguistics at Georgetown.The 13 bilingual college students enrolled in this study grew up in the U.S. with Mandarin-speaking parents, and learned both English and Mandarin at an early age. The matched comparison group consisted of 16 monolingual college students, who spoke only English fluently.The researchers studied Mandarin-English bilinguals because both of these languages differ structurally from the new language being learned. The new language was a well-studied artificial version of a Romance language, Brocanto2, that participants learned to both speak and understand. Using an artificial language allowed the researchers to completely control the learners’ exposure to the language.The two groups were trained on Brocanto2 over the course of about a week. At both earlier and later points of training, learners’ brain patterns were examined with electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes on their scalps, while they listened to Brocanto2 sentences. This captures the natural brain-wave activity as the brain processes language.They found clear bilingual/monolingual differences. By the end of the first day of training, the bilingual brains, but not the monolingual brains, showed a specific brain-wave pattern, termed the P600. P600s are commonly found when native speakers process their language. In contrast, the monolinguals only began to exhibit P600 effects much later during learning – by the last day of training. Moreover, on the last day, the monolinguals showed an additional brain-wave pattern not usually found in native speakers of languages.“There has been a lot of debate about the value of early bilingual language education,” says Grey. “Now, with this small study, we have novel brain-based data that points towards a distinct language-learning benefit for people who grow up bilingual.”The other study co-author is psycholinguist Kara Morgan-Short, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, who also conducted her graduate work with Sanz and Ullman.last_img read more

Q&A: Kentucky’s Mark Stoops previews 2015

first_imgKentucky coach Mark Stoops speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)Kentucky coach Mark Stoops speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)You’ve heard from Kentucky’s coordinators. Now here’s head coach Mark Stoops before today’s Louisville Alumni Kickoff Luncheon. Talking recruiting, vibe heading into 2015, all here:MARK STOOPSOn getting early commitments: ” We’ve had a nice quiet week. We haven’t had a lot going on with recruiting (laughter). It’s been good. It’s been exciting. It’s important to get in on guys early. It’s important to recruit them the whole way and keep them all the way through, like you know, it’s been a good week.”On getting all the signees on campus for fall camp: “Not all at this point. We’re still working on a couple guys. I’ll give you an update first day at camp to see where we’re at. We’re working our way through that. You know one, we already announced to the public that won’t be there.”On the mood around the program: “It’s an exciting time. We just had our last workout this morning, a group workout, obviously guys have been training all summer and they’ll continue to do a little bit next week. We had our last session this morning where the coaches spent some time with the players and then we leave and the players do their own 7-on-7, we’re not allowed to be there when the balls out. They did some 7-on-7.“It’s exciting. The players have worked really hard. They’re bigger, they’re stronger, they’re anxious to get done with the lifting and running and get on with football. It’s just an exciting time and a time- everybody is ready to move on. I’m done. I’m ready to move on as you know with the talking season. And they’re done with the just lifting and running, they want to put the pads on and get out there and play football.”On the longest stretch he’s been away from football: “I took a full week. One week was the most I took. I really didn’t leave town much this summer, so I was around quite a bit. I did leave for a week and go on vacation with my family, went to the beach. So seven days was the most that I stepped away from.”On if he was itching to get back: “To be honest with you, no I was OK. I took those seven days and even put my phone up for a while, so I had some missed recruiting calls and some people reaching out to me and later I said, ‘I was at the beach and put my phone up,’ and everybody was good with that. Everybody can wait a day or two until I get back to them.“It was a good summer. I feel good. I feel like we made a lot of progress. I feel like our staff has done a nice job of getting some time away but also, as you can tell by some results, by the way our players look and recruiting we don’t ever step away from it too far. Guys are anxious and refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to go.”On if this was the first time he felt comfortable enough to put his phone away: “Yeah, I say that, I say I put it away for a few days, it’s maybe when I’m at the beach for four or five hours but it’s never truly away. You always have to stay on it. I think as things come together and the team gets better, your staff understands what’s expected of them and where I’m at, and the comfort level, it certainly gets better as it goes on.”On if he noticed the vote in the coaches poll: “I did not. I did not.”On what he thinks about it: “You know I don’t really pay much attention to any of that. I just want our team to be better. It gets boring talking about that but it’s the truth. I want us to be better day one this year than we’ve been last spring, than we were last fall. That we’re better. We’re going to take that approach everyday. We’re going to control the things we can control. We had a good day today. We had a good morning. To my knowledge after we left everybody stayed healthy on the 7-on-7. Like I said that will be the last group workout before we report next Thursday. It’s been a good summer and I know our players have improved. I know we made progress. I know the recruits we brought in look good and are going to help our team, the guys that are here now. We’re just anxious to get into camp and get better and go to work”On if his brother voted for him: “I have no idea. I don’t even know if he has a vote this year. He does? It could be. I don’t know.”On if he feels more positive feelings this season: “Certainly. Any time you put the amount of work in that we put in, then you expect to be more confident. You expect that to be more confident. You expect it to be more positive because you know you’re better. I always use the adage about being sharper. We’re sharper. We have sharper tools. Guys, the players, have worked hard. Our coaches have worked hard. You’re going into Year Three, we should be better; we expect to be better. But we still know that it’s a day to day approach. Nothing’s going to be given to us. Just because we’re better doesn’t mean we’re going to win any more games. We’ve got to go to work and see what happens.”On injuries and surgeries from spring and if he expects them to all be back: “I do. I do think Glenn Faulkner – as you know, I just released the other day – he’ll be out for the season. He got injured this summer. Kobie (Walker). There’s a good chance Kobie could be out for a couple weeks, but in general, we’re going to be, we should be at full strength.”On recruiting burnout affects coaches as they get older: “I think it’s extremely important piece of our job and it’s really important as you’re piecing your staff together with guys that can recruit. I would never put an age limit on that or anything like that because I’ve seen plenty of fellas who are getting up there in age that are outstanding recruiters and unbelievable work ethic. I don’t think it has anything to do with age, or at least in my opinion, I’ve seen some great ones, some great recruiters and great work ethic of some older guys, both at Florida State and here, guys I’ve had. But I think it’s really important to have guys who are passionate about it and that work at it. You have to do it. You have to do it every day. And you’ve gotta stay on it and be organized and relentless in your approach, relentless in your work ethic about recruiting because we have to recruit so many guys. It takes a lot of good players. We all have our own egos and think we can coach anything, but bottom line is you better have some players also. And then again, development is such a big piece of it. You’ve got to get good players and develop them. I think it’s real important and I do think that the recruiting piece is getting looked at by a lot of people because it is kind of crazy. It is out of hand at times with what we do. But gotta do it.”On what part is “crazy:” “I just think I was all for – I was one of the few. There wasn’t too many, I thought the early signing period would go into effect, I thought there was enough steam and momentum to get that done. But that’s a piece of it. You get guys committed and you work hard for a year, a year and a half, two years. You have them committed for a bit of time and for a month and a half, we’re babysitting guys we have committed. We’re spending a lot of money; we’re going on private planes, going to see them every week for guys we’ve had committed to us for two years. If they want to sign; if you have a commitment both ways, why not give them a piece of paper and let them sign it and get it done? Get the contract sealed up. The way it works right now is we have to go hard all the way through the first week in February, the first Wednesday in February. That’s one piece you asked me about. We could go on and on, but that’s a piece of it.”On how much losing the final six games last year hurt the continuity of the most recent class: “Not sure. I don’t know if that had a piece of it or not because some of them flipped a lot later than that. I don’t know. There’s a lot of things that go into play when it comes to recruiting, but I think, like I told you the year before, to only lose one through the course of the year like we did in ’14. Last year we lost a few down the stretch, but again we’re going to concentrate on the ones we got. I think it’s a class that I’m very excited about. The guys that are here right now, the guys who came in December are some special players. We’re very excited about the guys we signed.”* For instant updates on the Wildcats, follow me on Twitter @KyleTucker_CJ. Email me at read more

Tipp Minor Hurlers Fail to Reach All Ireland Final

first_imgTipperary’s Minor Hurlers have been beaten by Kilkenny in today’s all Ireland Semi Final in Croke Park.After a slow start to the match the cats took control of the game with a goal just before half time, going in to the break leading the Tipp minors 1-7 to 0-4.Tipp took the game to Kilkenny in the second half with a spirited comeback seeing substitute Mikey O’Shea scoring two goals. Photo © Tipp FM However, it was not enough to overcome a more consistent Kilkenny, who held on to their lead, the game finishing 1-15 to 2-10 in favour of the cats.Speaking to Tipp FM Sport. Tipperary Minor Coach, Tommy Dunne, gave his sentiments on the loss.Kilkenny will go on to play Galway in the final, The Tribesmen beating Dublin in the other semi final in Croke yesterday.last_img read more