DETROIT (WWJ) – You may have already heard childhood is the best time to pick up a second language, but new research says it may also benefit an aging brain.
Scottish researchers have found people who speak two or more languages, even if they learned the second language in adulthood, may slow down cognitive decline from aging reports WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee.
Their study looked at 835 native English speakers given intelligence tests in childhood and again in their early 70s.
More than a third knew at least one language other than English.
Of those, 195 learned the second language before age 18, 65 learned it after 18.
People who spoke two or more languages had significantly better cognitive abilities compared to what would be expected from their baseline, especially in general intelligence and reading.
And that was true for people who acquired their second language early as well as late.