Review The bilingual brain: And what it tells us about the science of language (a review)

original work by ALBERT COSTA reviewed by DOMINIQUE VOUILLEMIN

Well over half the world is bilingual but little is known about it and how it works. In this short and highly readable study, Professor Albert Costa examines the impact of bilingualism on young people from infancy to old age and explains how bilingualism affects people’s daily lives. Costa uses his experience in neuro-linguistic research in Barcelona, itself a bilingual city speaking Spanish and Catalan, as well as studies from all over the world to show the effects of bilingualism, including examples from Canada, France and South Korea. The Bilingual Brain has five chapters: The Bilingual Cradle about babies born and brought up in a bilingual environment; Two Languages, One Brain; How Bilingualism Sculpts the Brain; Mental Gymnastics, and, finally, Making Decisions. In doing so he cites research from all over the world, including his own laboratory in Barcelona, Spain. Costa explains various research experiments into bilingualism around the world and the Further Reading section at the end of the book directs the reader to further research sources.

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