(Livescience.com) reported by CBS NEWS, February 18, 2011
That’s the takeaway from recent brain research, which shows that bilingual people’s brains function better and for longer after developing the disease.
Psychologist Ellen Bialystok and her colleagues at York University in Toronto recently tested about 450 patients who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Half of these patients were bilingual, and half spoke only one language.
While all the patients had similar levels of cognitive impairment, the researchers found that those who were bilingual had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years later, on average, than those who spoke just one language. And the bilingual people reported their symptoms had begun about five years later than those who spoke only one language.
“What we’ve been able to show is that in these patients… all of whom have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and are all at the same level of impairment, the bilinguals on average are four to five years older — which means that they’ve been able to cope with the disease,” Bialystok said.
Spanish is the second most spoken language on earth. Here are a few fun facts about its history and usage.
The second most popular native language in the world
329 million people speak Spanish, making it the world’s No. 2 language. This means that more people speak it as their native language than all other languages but one. The world’s No. 1 language is Chinese, spoken by approximately 1.2 billion people. English ranks No. 3 with 328 million people who speak it as their first language.
Spanish is spoken in 44 countries
People in 44 countries speak Spanish as their native language. That ranks it as No.4 for the total number of countries where a single language is spoken as a “first language.” Geographically, the first three most widely spoken languages are English (112 countries), French (60) and Arabic (57).
A 13th century king impacted today’s Spanish
From year 1252 to 1284, King Alfonso X standardized the official language in Castile and Leon. He was known also as Alfonso the Wise, or Learned, because of his ardent study of Roman philosophy of law and social mores.
Because of King Alfonso’s efforts, by 1492 when Columbus set foot on the shores of the Western Hemisphere, the Spanish language, both spoken and written, had evolved to the point where it would be easily understandable today.
The grammar police
The Royal Spanish Academy (Real Academia Española) is the accepted authority of correct, standard Spanish. Beginning in the 18th century, the academy has published dictionaries and discourses in proper grammar usage. Decisions by the academy are not enforceable by law. Nevertheless, their opinions are accepted as the authority in Spain and Latin America.
Spanish is most prevalent in Latin America
The Spanish language began on the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. But the later colonization of the New World by Spanish forces and missionaries resulted with more people in Latin America speaking Spanish than in the original areas of Spain and its surrounding territory.
An evolving, modern language
English has had a great impact on the Spanish language of today. Because of the USA’s leading influence in the world in business, technology and social trends, many English words have become standard and accepted as common usage in Spanish. In the past, Arabic had the most influence after Latin, the original root of Spanish.
Spanish is known as one of the world’s classic, six national “romance languages.” This particular group of languages also includes French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian and Catalan (Andorra).
Feliz Día de San Valentín! Happy Valentine’s Day!
“ARRRGGGHHhhh….! Please! Give me something to help my child’s brain, not hurt it!” exclaimed Super Moms from all over the world today.
Babblemania is here to help!
Babblemania Spanish is a language learning app for kids, built with fun and engaging animated characters to keep kids glued to games that actually teach something useful for their future success.
Babblemania believes people should have the power over one’s own destiny. And our children’s destiny is the most important. Being able to speak more than one language greatly increases their power now, and it grows exponentially as they race forward into the future.
We created language learning apps for kids to give them a better chance in this fast-changing world. Cultures and languages are crossing and mixing more than at any time in history. It’s happening very quickly.
We can’t wait. Why? Because our children can’t wait. They need the tools and skills now, at an early age, when they are best able to learn.
“There is a critical period for language acquisition, roughly from birth to around puberty.” Noam Chomsky, leading research linguist at MIT
The kind of world we leave for our children is beyond our control, individually. The kind of success our children will have in that future world is indeed within our control, individually.
Being bilingual is critically important for future success.
Babblemania made the decision to make full use of the future content on its website free of charge to teachers for use as a teaching aid in the classroom.
We believe that nothing happens in a child’s life to increase his/her success without a teacher…somewhere…in some capacity…interacting with the child.
There is virtually nothing more important in our lives than a teacher.
Stay tuned and we’ll keep you in the loop as we charge toward the launch of the website and other fun content at Babblemania.com later this year.
So, here’s to you!…teacher. We hope you have a great day!
Babblemania is making all of its mobile apps ready for distribution on its website at Babblemania.com. Additionally, the entire, and rapidly growing, library of language apps will be joined on the website by a broader variety of content. The entire content will be available as a very low-priced monthly subscription.
In the meantime, Babblemania apps can be found on the iTunes App Store at this link: http://bit.ly/h8aBXN
Hey, Super Mom, what do you think? The Babbles really want to know what you think the next group of words in the phone app should be.
The first two groups of words were fruits and vegetables. Here are the choices for the next words:
(1) Numbers and Letters
(2) Months, Seasons, Days of the Week
(3) Zoo Animals
(4) Things found in a house
You can VOTE! Just go to Babblemania on Facebook where you will see the POLL.
We hope you will tell the Babbles which group of Spanish words you think your children would like to learn next.
Are you looking for a way to teach your child without spending a lot of money? Well, I was excited to find some free resources you can use to teach your child. They are very easy to get to and are great tools to help with the development of your children. These resources can also be useful if you or your husband has parents who do not speak English and you want your child to learn both languages. This is how I felt and by using these resources, my son learned to speak English quickly! Now, he is speaking full sentences in a different language and I am truly amazed by it all! Using these resources, I will show you how to easily teach your child a different language.
When you have a small child that learns quickly, it may be necessary for you to give him more brain stimulation than other children and teach him a different language, as well. You will be pleased to know that there are many free resources to help you effortlessly teach your child a new language. Whether you are going to teach him Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, or any other language, it is better when you can do it for free! Are you excited yet? I know I was when I learned how simple it could be!
The easiest way to teach your child a different language for free is to look for different worksheets, flash cards, and other fun tools online that can be printed. A certain time of day can be set aside to use these and teach your child a new language. You will see how quickly he will learn, just by gradually adding different words and phrases! If you are teaching your child your family’s native language for better communication, you may teach your child by speaking in English, then in the native language when feeding him, bathing him, and walking around outside with him. Sneaking in lessons like this are the best way to teach.
Other great resources when teaching your child a different language are free iPhone applications. There are over a dozen available and they engage the child in the lessons, using fun characters and animals. Along with these applications are fun learning games that will also make it easier for your child to learn. Any learning situation that combines the lessons with play-time are winners. Besides, your child will have so much fun playing with your phone, he won’t even realize he is learning!
What does a teenage girl use her iPhone for? Texting, talking to boys and playing games – right? What does a mother of two boys (ME!!) use her iPhone for? That’s an easy one! To entertain my kids! Let me tell you what a lifesaver that device has been – out with the boys, they start fighting because they’re bored – BINGO! Out comes the iPhone, with all the educational games, they are kept entertained for hours! And peace returns to my life! Sometimes I think they fight just because they know I’ll hand over my iPhone. Enough about me, what do other moms think about apps for learning? Do they feel like they help their child learn? Do they use them often?
We set out to ask moms these very questions, and the response was amazing! I don’t feel so badly about using the apps to entertain my kids. One mom told me it gives her some peace in the afternoon to do chores around the house. She often turns on a learning app while doing the dishes or the laundry, confident that her son is perfectly content (and would be for hours!). Another mom credits her iPhone for teaching her daughter to read while still in preschool!
It seems that in this digital age, nothing gets accomplished without connection to the Internet, at minimum a cell phone. Every mom has realized the fact that media learning is the fun way to help their child grow and develop. Most of the mothers we spoke to actually schedule together time with their children using the learning apps. This is a great way to watch you child’s learning process. It is so much fun to see the ‘lightbulb’ begin to flicker when my son is learning a new app. What more could you ask for as a mother? As a working mom myself, I know the pressures on women today. With keeping the family organized and stable and working – when I find something that works – I stick with it! Not only that – I pass it along!
With apps to teach everything from colors, different languages and math skills to shapes and animals – keeping your child educated and well behaved is a cinch! And the apps grow with your child – there are apps for every age. So, I am not the only mom that loves apps for learning! Moms in general love apps for learning! Kids love apps for learning! There are numerous free apps, but even the pay apps are very affordable. And the memories – well who can put a price on that?
Kids are great when it comes to learning new things. They soak up new information like little dry sponges. If you think about it, it’s amazing how each of us learn how to speak simply by watching and listening to the things around us. When it comes to learning more than one language, young minds are especially adept. Children unwittingly determine which word goes with which language.
If you are considering teaching your young child to learn to speak Spanish you’ll find an enormous assortment of software programs on the market. There are now applications available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. All kids want to play with Mom’s little computer and now they’ll have a legitimate reason to push those little colorful buttons. With one of the following applications on your i-device you can let your child play, knowing that they are having fun and learning something useful. Check out these applications and find which ones suit your little scholar and you can both be on your way to being bilingual.
Number 5: Feed Me, from PencilBot Preschool
A friendly monster asks your child to feed him by asking for things in Spanish. Your child must choose the correct picture for the monster, or it might get sick; and no one wants that! This game is highly interactive and suitable for children ages 3 to 8 so it covers a wide range of skill levels. Children hear the words and see an image of the item in a bubble over the hungry monster’s head.
Number 4: Rosita’s Jump Count, by Sesame Street
This great interactive game features Rosita from Sesame Street and is a great way to burn off some excess energy and get your kid moving. Rosita jumps rope and counts in Spanish and English and your child must jump along to keep things moving. It only teaches counting skills, but at $1.99 for the download, it can be a great way for your child to get moving and learn at the same time.
Number 3: Peak-a-Boo Barn, Night and Day Studios
This is a wonderful educational game that toddlers, older children and parents all can enjoy. Friendly animals are waiting inside the barn to be discovered. Children will learn the names of the animals in Spanish and English by revealing what animal is inside. What child doesn’t like to play peak-a-boo? Listening to the sounds, repeating the words and trying to guess the animals can be great fun for everyone.
Number 2: Firstwords Spanish, Learning Touch
This great application can give your toddler a head start on learning letters and words and becoming familiar with Spanish. While looking at a picture, they hear the word and see it written. This game teaches 114 words, from animals to household items.
Number 1: Babblemania Spanish, Spoken World LLC
With five different games, this app has plenty to keep your child engaged. The concept for this app came from, well…us, and it draws on elements coming from traditional entertainment like TV and film, education, and games. Games such as Harvest Hoedown and Fast Food Run teach children Spanish words for fruits and vegetables and how to use them. You and your child will have hours of fun learning.
With twin five-year olds it is always a challenge to keep them quiet and engaged in any activity. Every kid loves things they can easily hold in their hands and an iPod Touch or iPad certainly fits. Watching their eyes light up when I bring up these games and play with them is really fun for all of us. It feels good to know that with all the distractions our children now have, I can still engage them to learn.