Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

Bi-Lingualism Changes Childrens’ Beliefs

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In an interesting piece of research that my professor friend Tim Kastelle sent me, it turns out that learning a second language helps people know that your experience shapes you, and thus reduces stereotypes and prejudices.

It’s what one learns, rather than what one is born with, that makes you into whom you are. Interesting that I’m writing a book on a similar thread here in Paris.

I remember when we first got inspired by this idea to move abroad, and help Kiddo to have a more global mindset. A book a friend recommended helped us navigate a short sabbatical of 9 weeks. It was called “the Family Sabbatical Handbook”. It helped us navigate simple things like health care and how to set expectations with kiddo. But mostly it gave us some kind of roadmap so we didn’t feel we were trying to figure it out from scratch. We found several people who had done it before we did and they inspired us to keep going.

But one thing we’ve never needed to be convinced of is how much this is a good thing. To see anew, is a gift. For kids and for us old foggies.

Author: nilofermerchant

Strategist. Passionate about igniting cultures of innovation. HBR Writer, O'Reilly Author (published January 2010) of The New How, and former CEO of Rubicon.

One thought on “Bi-Lingualism Changes Childrens’ Beliefs

  1. I sent it to you because of the final comments on diversity, but the thing that really struck me was the impact that learning a second language has on developing a growth mindset. They didn’t explicitly link it to Carol Dweck’s work, but it seems as though there is a strong connection there…

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