NAIDOC Week- Benefits of bilingualism

July 3, 2017

To help celebrate the second day of NAIDOC week (2nd July-9th July) I want to share with you some of the benefits of knowing more than one language.

For all you mob who might speak two or more languages, or for all you mob who want to learn your language- there are huge benefits not just for your culture, connection or traditions!

  • You become smarter- learning/knowing two+ languages challenges your brain to recognise, negotiate meaning and problem solve.
  • You build multitasking skills- learning/knowing two+ languages mean that you juggle and switch systems of speech, writing and structure.
  • You help protect yourself from Alzheimer’s and dementia– a more active brain= a healthier brain.
  • Your memory improves– your brain is like a muscle, the more exercise you do the better. To learn a language you must memorise the rules and vocabulary… I’m feeling more muscly already!
  • You notice more– you get better at observing your surroundings. You are better at focussing on relevant information and ignoring the irrelevant.
  • You get better at making decisions– you are better at understanding the hints and clues in language that influence our judgements.
  • You are better at your first language– learning the second language helps you understand the ways language is structured. You are more aware of your language and the ways it can be manipulated.

We thought of some of these deadly ways to learn the language of your mob:

  • Ask an Elder to share a Dreaming, stories of their childhood (or the words of their language they remember from growing up). Even if it feels awkward or funny to you, but your old people will love the time with you and sharing their knowledge.
  • Visit and
  • Look on YouTube and State Libraries for resources.

How many languages do you speak? What are you good at?


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