Photo from Ping Li Lab, Penn State

Regular readers of this blog and/or my books are familiar with how I help students see the physical impact learning new things can have on its brains (see The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning). It has a powerful impact on students.

I use that lesson with my English Language Learners, too, as well as helping them see The Advantages To Being Bilingual Or Multilingual.

Today, though, I learned about a brand new study that found, and shows, the direct physical impact learning a new language has on the brain. Showing those images (see the top of this post and in the links below) and excerpts from the study will really bring the point home to my ELL students.

Here’s a quote from the researcher:


Here are links to and about the study:

Learning languages is a workout for brains, both young and old

Second language experience modulates neural specialization for first language lexical tones

Neural changes underlying successful second language word learning: An fMRI study

Learning a New Language Changes Functionality and Structure of Brain Networks

Neuroplasticity as a function of second language learning: Anatomical changes in the human brain