Education: Speaking in Forked Tongues

"Why Bilinguals Are Smarter," a recent column in the New York Times, suggests that children raised in two-language homes tend to have higher IQs, because their brains are forced to be more nimble. Let's stipulate that this is true.  Still, I think there's more to the story.  I suspect that any intellectual activity -- playing piano, chess, daily nature walks, video games, learning the constellations -- would tend to speed up intellectual development.  A lot of times our modern educators will smugly insist: don't go too fast; children need to be ready to learn!  But if parents are speaking two languages, nobody bothers to ask the children, are you ready to be bilingual?  The children, as infants, are willy-nilly tossed into total immersion.  They respond. I think there's a lesson here, generally.  There is no reason to wait in education.  Even complex subjects include simple facts.  Start with those.  See if a child shows interest....(Read Full Article)

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