Ellen Bialystok, a cognitive neuroscientist, has studied the effects of bilingualism on the brain for over 40 years. Among her impressive findings include the fact that bilingual children are able to understand more complex language problems than those that only spoke on language, that being bilingual can help delay the symptom's of Alzheimer's disease and makes you better at multi-tasking.
In a recent conversation with the New York Times, Dr. Bialystok said, "I didn’t start trying to find out whether bilingualism was bad or good. I did my doctorate in psychology: on how children acquire language."
But she also points out that bilingualism has been met with stigma in the United States in the past. "Until about the 1960s, the conventional wisdom was that bilingualism was a disadvantage. Some of this was xenophobia," she says. "Thanks to science, we now know that the opposite is true.
Read the whole conversation at nytimes.com, but until then, tell us: