* Bilingual children have two or more words for objects and ideas, so the links between words and concepts are looser, allowing more fluent, flexible and creative thinking.
* They can communicate more naturally and expressively, maintaining a finer texture of relationships with parents and grandparents, as well as with the local and wider communities in which they live.
* They gain the benefits of two sets of literatures, traditions, ideas, ways of thinking and behaving.
* They can act as a bridge between people of different colours, creeds and cultures.
* With two languages comes a wider cultural experience, greater tolerance of differences and perhaps less racism.
* As barriers to movement between countries are taken down, the earning power of bilinguals rises. In modern Scotland, Gaelic speakers are in great demand - in the media, in education, in local and national government.
* Further advantages include raised self-esteem, increased achievement, and greater proficiency with other languages.
"Through language, a child is cared for, cherished, cultivated and cultured," says Professor Baker. "Within any language is a kaleidoscope of cultures whose full colour and beauty are only revealed to those fluent in the language."