Learning Greek and The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain


Naturally, as a parent, you want to give your child every advantage possible to better their prospects in life; better health and better cognitive performance lead to better academic performance and career prospects. Recent advances in neuroscience and neuroimaging reveal that bilingual and multilingual brains look and work differently when compared to monolingual brains. Not only that but learning Greek offers many cognitive benefits in its own right.

Better problem-solving skills, superior ability in focusing on and switching between tasks, improved memory, and better decision-making skills are just some of the benefits associated with bilingual brains. In the past, it was assumed that growing up bilingual caused children to learn more slowly. New research suggests that the constant extra work that the bilingual brain does in choosing between words (dog-σκύλος) can enhance brain activity leading to better focus, multitasking and memory capacity. There is also some small evidence that shows that from a very young age bilingual and multilingual children develop empathy more quickly. Even with regards to adults, scientists conducted research on students before and after learning a foreign language which demonstrated a significant change in brain connections leading to better information processing.

And there’s more. The benefits of learning Greek, in particular, include engaging in a language built over the course of thousands of years, continuously being refined to convey ideas with high precision and logic. With its vast list of stems, roots, and suffixes from which countless words in both Greek and other European languages are derived. For instance, when children learn the Greek word “αισθάνομαι/aesthanome” and its root “αισθ- /aesth-”, they can form a much stronger understanding of the concepts of “anesthesia” and “aesthetics”. Another example would be that of the preposition “περί/peri” (around); when children understand the concept, they are subsequently more capable in understanding related concepts. For instance, a periscope is not simply “something one uses to look out of a submarine”, but a device one uses to “look around from within a submarine.

Apart from a potentially richer grasp of many elements which have influenced the structure and content of the English language, children might also have an advantage when it comes to learning other languages.

Whether children are about to learn German, Russian or Arabic, by the time they step into the classroom, they will already know what cases are, and why certain prepositions go with certain cases, and cannot take others; a rather complicated concept that early beginners find very difficult to grasp. Also, they will avoid emotional confusion by being confident in knowing what conjugations are, another rather difficult encounter when learning a foreign language. Not to mention verb mood and gender. So does your child learning Russian or Arabic sound a bit easier now?

In addition, learning Greek is a key factor in your child getting in touch with its Greek heritage and identity. Learning Greek enables children to better understand the land of their parents, or grandparents, in turn leading to a better understanding of the rich cultural heritage they carry. Greek influenced and helped form languages and civilizations the world over and left its eternal mark on what is known as the European civilization and culture, why not help the children of the Greek diaspora leave their own mark in the distant countries they are growing up in as a medium of communication with the rest of the world?

The fun part is that your child is entertained while learning Greek on Ellinopoula.com. Optimal learning is fun, interactive learning where your child is fully engaged in a meaningful activity.

Give it a try! Discover how learning Greek can benefit your children’s brain and sign-up for a free one-month trial!

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