Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

“Languages smarten up your brain”


Languages smarten up your brain is the title of a column in the Guardian Weekly. It’s a summary of a report detailing research results that show learning a second language contributes to improved problem-solving and decision-making abilities, among other advantages. The full report can be found here.

Neither the summary nor the report itself is accessible to English Language Learners (in fact, I think both are written in unnecessarily complicated language). However, at some point I’m going to distill the key points into a short Read Aloud for my students. Even though most of my English Language Learner students are pretty motivated to learn English, helping them see some other advantages to doing it certainly can’t hurt.

I could also see this information being helpful to any second-language teacher.

Thanks to Michelle Henry for the tip.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Thanks for the resource! As a fellow language teacher, I appreciate it. 🙂

  2. I was surprised this report survived from July 2009 to January 2010 when the Guardian belated picked it up! It really said very little.

    When one cut through the dense undergrowth of eurobabble and viewed the charts and small base of respondees, the results show only a modest impact on the brain of second-language speakers.

    Stephen Baker

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