What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

The Value of Learning a Second Language

May 27, 2013, 6:00 AM
Shutterstock_131376311

Learning a second language has fantastic benefits for kids.  If you put aside the most obvious reason for learning a second language that allows you to communicate with a lot of people that you couldn’t communicate with before, it also really helps brain development.  

Starting as early as one year of age, bilingual children show better ability to follow abstract rules, to reverse rules that they’ve learned already: "You were doing this, now do the opposite," which is something that’s pretty hard for little kids.  And they continue to show better self-control and better ability to be flexible according to circumstances all the way through into old age, assuming that they keep speaking both languages actively.  You can lose these advantages if you start speaking a language and then you let it drop.

Especially in old age, people who have actively spoken more than one language their entire life have an onset of dementia, if they get dementia, about four years later than people who only know one language.  So that alone is a significant advantage.

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

 

The Value of Learning a Sec...

Newsletter: Share: