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Studies show language learning changes how you see the world

Recently several studies on perception and multilingual speakers have pointed to what language learners already know: even a little language learning will help you see the world differently. This has implications for abilities in communication and in seeing another’s point of view – essential in any conflict resolution and peacebuilding practice.

In Science AAAS, an article entitled Speaking a second language may change how you see the world describes a study in which German and English speakers’ descriptions of the same event vary according to linguistic differences between the two languages.

A similar article in Medical Daily suggests that Bilingual kids may become better communicators because of their practice in “paying attention to things beyond the words being said” such as nonverbal communication and context. Even some exposure to another language increased this ability.

Perception, communication and language ability then all directly relate to how we deal with others and different points of views and can help us to navigate the challenges of conflict and peace.

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About clwoelk

Cheryl Woelk is coordinator of Language for Peace and specializes in language and peace education in multicultural contexts. She holds an MA in Education and a graduate certificate in Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. Cheryl currently lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with her spouse and son.

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Contributing Author

Cheryl Woelk is coordinator of Language for Peace and specializes in language and peace education in multicultural contexts. She holds an MA in Education and a graduate certificate in Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. Cheryl currently lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with her spouse and son.

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