Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Speaking in tongues, or experiencing Pentecost daily.

My viewpoint on the need for Americans to stop thinking English is the be-all and end-all of linguistic existance is vindicated in recent research at Toronto's York University.

Bilingualism delays onset of dementia.

There. Take that everyone who won't see foriegn-language films, took ASL in high school instead of taking a spoken language or thinks that when you are in America (a country founded by immigrants and exiles) you should speak "Goddamn English."

Here's the basic scientific evidence from Professor Ellen Bialystock:
"In the process of using ... two languages, you are engaging parts of your brain, parts of your mind that are active and need that kind of constant exercise and activity, and with that experience (it) stays more robust."

Please help fight the demise of your own grey matter by reading some interlinear translations, watching foriegn-language films and learning a second language if you don't already have one. Then, once you've done those things, start code-switching from English to your newly acquired language, even in small quantities. Not only will you help heal your brain cells, but you will also automatically appear smarter and sexier.

I see no downsides to this.

Note: Above I blasted a "take that!" at people who took ASL in high school as a replacement for a foriegn-language requirement. I by no means think that learning ASL is a bad thing of that ASL is not a useful and productive form of communication for the Deaf community. I do, however, disagree with the fact that some schools offer ASL as an alternative to learning a foriegn language. ASL works on a different synaptic level than spoken languages do. It's visual, not aural. I think its great that ASL is taught in schools and people should be able to take it, just not as a replacement for foriegn language.

No comments: