We've talked before about how learning another language can help fight dementia. However, it seems that there are more benefits than that. New evidence suggests that being bilingual can actually modify your brain in a way that makes you smarter!
This is in contrast to the view for most of the 20th century, when it was considered a problem for kids. People used to think that learning another language interfered with the academic and intellectual development.
There is some interference. Apparently, in a bilingual's brain, both languages are active at ALL times. However, instead of hurting and interfering with the brain, it helps it! It forces the brain to resolve internal conflict.
Studies done with mono- or bilingual kids had them doing different cognitive tasks. In some tests, they performed at the same level. In other, bilinguals completed the task faster.
Scientists believe that the main benefit of bilinguals is that they are forced to monitor the environment at a higher level. For example, having to speak to your mom or dad in different languages keeps you on your toes and keeping track of changes.