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Interpreting someone’s utterance often requires attending not just to its content, but also to the surrounding context. What does a speaker know or not know? What did she intend to convey? Children in multilingual environments have social experiences that provide routine practice in considering the perspectives of others.

Growing up in a multilingual environment has many cognitive benefits, and researchers recently found one additional advantage: it may help children develop their social abilities. Over at the New York Times Sunday Review, one researcher explains.


Stephanie Bento is a writer, classical cellist, and photographer living in Washington, DC. In her writing, she is interested in exploring the musicality of sound and form, and our connection to time and place. Find out more about her creative work at saudadebelle.com, or say hello/bonjour on Twitter @saudadebelle. More from this author →