Thesis statement: Bilingualism should be encouraged at various levels of community life due to its unique positive impact on human brain work at various levels of human development ranging from infancy to old age and embracing such critical areas as cognitive, emotional, and physical brain functioning.
II. Body paragraph #1 – Topic sentence #1
Bilingualism yields benefits for the brain’s cognitive functions.
A. Supporting evidence :
a. It positively affects children’s attentional control, i.e. their “ability to focus and shift their attention in a selective manner” (Arredondo et al., 2017).
b. It positively affects cognitive control, namely leads to “enhanced engagement of executive control while resolving lexical competition within a single language, even though this might not be reflected at behavioural level” (Zhou, 2016)
a. The fact that bilingualism enhances children’s attentional control evidences that bilingualism benefits the function of the brain through enhanced functionality of brain’s cortical regions, namely activation of the left frontal lobe. It means that bilingualism should be encouraged in young children because it will help them achieve greater brain functionality and better task performance.
b. The fact that bilingualism improves executive control refers to the improvement of inhibitory and attentional control in young adults, which was established through administration of a special set of lexical and non-lexical tasks. It means that bilingualism should be encouraged because it leads to better academic performance even in the language which is native.
c. So what?
Bilingualism should be encouraged in families and social settings because it helps expand brain functioning at the cognitive level.
III. Body Paragraph #2 – Topic sentence #2
Bilingualism yields benefits for the brain’s emotional functions.
A. Supporting evidence:
a. Bilingualism enhances the function of emotional regulation in the brain, i.e. “processes used to manage and change if, when, and how one experiences emotions and emotion-related motivational and physiological states, as well as how emotions are expressed behaviorally” (Zhou et al., 2012).
b. Bilingualism enhances communicative sensitivity of the brain through differentiating between the same negative stimuli (taboo words, reprimands) uttered in the dominant and second language: “Reprimands heard in the dominant language yielded greater subjective ratings of emotional intensity” (Simcox et al., 2011).
a. Bilingualism enhances the function of emotional regulation in the brain as a result of its increased cognitive function. It means that bilingual children show better externalizing and internalizing behaviors and have better coping skills than monolingual children.
b. Bilingualism can lead to better social adjustment of children through enhanced communicative sensitivity.
C. So what?
a. Bilingualism is good for children’s emotional development and brings mental health benefits through enhanced coping and emotional regulation skills.
b. It also brings the benefit of improved adjustment through greater communicative sensitivity.
IV. Body Paragraph #3 – Topic sentence #3
Bilingualism yields benefits for the brain’s physical functions.
A. Supporting evidence:
a. Bilingualism prevents the aging of the brain: lifelong experience of managing two languages slows age-related neurodegenerative disease and slows cognitive declines (Gold, 2015).
b. Bilingualism prevents “decreasing temporal pole cortical thickness” and is associated with a greater amount of white matter, which provides for “preserved frontal and temporal lobe functioning in aging” (Olsen et al., 2015).
Both studies provide evidence that bilingualism preserves the cognitive functions of the brain, i.e. prevents its physical reduction. It means that in order to prevent dementia and in order to maintain normal functioning of the brain’s lobes people should strive to support their bilingual abilities and use both languages as much as possible on a daily basis.
C. Bilingualism should be encouraged at the level of healthcare provision, namely with regard to preventing the adverse outcomes of the neurodegenerative disease.
Bilingualism is a great advantage for individuals, so the use of two languages should be encouraged at various levels of community life. This is explained by the unique positive impact of the use of two languages on the way the brain operates at various stages of human development with regard to cognitive, emotional, and physical brain functioning.