With Bilingual Buds NYC as her setting, Newsweek reporter Casey Schwartz explores how the brain's real "super-food" is learning new languages...
On a sweltering August morning, in a classroom overlooking New York’s Hudson River, a group of 3-year-olds are rolling sticky rice balls in chocolate sprinkles, as a teacher guides them completely in Mandarin. This is just one toddler learning game at the total--immersion language summer camp run by the primary school Bilingual Buds, which offers a year-round curriculum in Mandarin as well as Spanish (at a New Jersey campus) for kids as young as 2.
Bilingualism, of course, can be a leg up for college admission and a résumé burnisher. But a growing body of research now offers a further rationale: the regular, high-level use of more than one language may actually improve early brain development.