Time and again it’s been said that learning a foreign language has many benefits beyond boosting language and communication skills. There have been many studies proving that foreign language learning can have physical and mental benefits as well. Take a look at some of them:
- Boosts brain power
A new language presents you with a different set of rules, meaning and etymology. With the complexities of a new language, your brain is put to task to recognise a different language structure and work out new meanings. It also pushes the brain to make full use of these new patterns to develop key learning skills for critical and cognitive thinking as well as problem solving.
- Improves memory
In your lifetime you are not likely to utilise your brain’s full potential. When you learn another language, your memory improves because you have to be familiar with a new set of vocabulary and rules. Moreover, you have to recall and apply them in order to use the foreign language effectively.
- Protects the brain against ageing
Dr. Thomas Bak from the University of Edinburgh led a study that proved that learning another language delays the onset of dementia by about four to five years. The delay in cognitive decline is due to the attention needed to process the new language.
- Boosts the ability to multitask
Researchers have learned that polyglots are adept at multitasking. They become more sensitive to their surroundings and are very good at paying attention to detail, which in turn helps them process more information faster. This enables them to do several things at one time, just like they can switch from one language to another.
- Makes the mind keener
Researchers at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain showed that multilingual people have keener minds and are more alert. It is easy for them to identify something that’s deceptive or irrelevant. People who are able to speak several languages become critical thinkers.
Learning a new language is practical and rewarding. It can broaden your horizon and it’s a great career move if you learn to speak other languages.