Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- It seems that having a second language could be worth going back to school.
If you speak French or Spanish, chances are you get more out of it than just being able to order in ethnic restaurants.
A new study finds that being bilingual sharpens more than your tongue. Reporting in the proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the authors say the added experience with language fine tunes the nervous system that governs hearing and enhances attention and working memory.
Researchers found that bilingualism changes how the nervous system responds to sound. They compared bilingual English and Spanish speaking teenagers with English-only speaking teens.
Against a backdrop of background noise, the bilingual teens were significantly better at encoding speech sounds -- the result, say the authors, of advantages in auditory attention.