A Medal for Tommy

“Shh!” Lisa warns me, and I stop reading out loud the note she’s passed to me. Tommy’s there and she doesn’t want him to know he’s winning an award.

How cool!

Lisa e-mails me the details, and I learn that the award is for Oral French.

I’m pleased, but not at all surprised. Although my own French is poor, Tommy’s pronunciation does sound very good to me.

I’m reminded of a York University study that showed that the brain becomes more efficient when a person learns two languages. http://research.news.yorku.ca/2011/06/01/professor-ellen-bialystok-speaks-to-the-new-york-times-about-the-bilingual-advantage/ Bilinguals even do better on other kinds of multitasking and on some non-verbal tests—and those who develop Alzheimer’s cope better with the disease. In fact, neuroscientist Ellen Bialystok says, “Their whole brain appears to rewire because of bilingualism.”

This is exciting stuff, and it makes me happy all over again that Tommy and Tina are in French Immersion. As the principal slides back and forth between English and French during the year-end ceremony, he explains that this is what they want for the children: effortless transition.

Tommy doesn’t know how much fun it is for me to listen to him speak so clearly and confidently to his teachers in French. And he’s not aware of the research that confirms Lisa’s and Maria’s wisdom in enrolling their children in an immersion program.

But he does know that Grandpa and I are proud of him for getting his medal.


2 responses to “A Medal for Tommy

  1. Congratulations to Tommy! I’m going to be taking Spanish for two years in college and hope I can at least get close to being bilingual.

    This is Alyssa, from the international students ministry. Thank you for your comment on my blog and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to comment back! I hope you have a great weekend.

  2. Thank you, Alyssa. The research is exciting, isn’t it? And you may be encouraged to know that it also helps to learn a second language as an adult–the key is to USE it, which I believe you plan to do!
    Good to hear from you.

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