Saleem Abbas, a 17-year-old from northern Pakistan, sits front and center in his Chinese language class taught by Nayyar Nawaz at Pakistan's National University of Modern Languages.
Saiyna Bashir for NPR
Having volunteers who are learning German answer questions about grammar and semantics of the language while inside an MRI machine might show particular patterns in brain changes, researchers say. They hope their study could offer clues to how the brain best learns a second language.
An Indian schoolgirl dressed as Telugu Talli poses for the camera during a celebration in Hyderabad, home to a study that seems to show the onset of dementia is delayed for people who speak more than one language.
Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images
Chances are they already speak more languages than you: children from Papua New Guinea's Andai tribe of hunter-gatherers wait for their parents to vote in the village of Kaiam. Over 800 languages are spoken in PNG, a country of about six million people.
Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images