Learning New Languages

Language that makes it easy for one to communicate. Lets see some more importance to it.

Language is a key part of any family, community, culture and the human race. Without language the world today would be much different. From cavemen, to the Egyptian use of hieroglyphics, to Old English, to more than 6,500 languages spoken around the world today, the advances that humans have made in language is remarkable and inspiring. The ability to speak, read, write and understand more than one language is also remarkable and expands the liberties in life, especially for young people

You already know that learning a foreign language can put you ahead in your career.

But there’s a growing body of evidence that the health benefits of learning a foreign language may be significant as well.

Language learning can make you smarter, improve your decision-making, and even keep your brain healthy in old age!

So, is now the time to dust off your high-school Spanish textbook?

Let’s have a closer look at what you stand to gain.

1. Better Decision-Making Skills

Being able to speak another language can help you make better decisions. Studies from the University of Chicago have shown that people who speak another language are better able to pick up nuances and subtleties in any given situation.

A heightened appreciation of the complexities of a situation can lead to more rational decision-making in many areas of life. Monolingual people, on the other hand, tend to base their decisions more on emotions.

In other words, speaking another language can improve your life through better decision-making.

2. Improved Memory

Learning a foreign language helps improve memory. A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology aimed to find out what effect learning a foreign language had on a child’s memory.

This study found that bilingual children performed much better than monolingual children on tasks using their working memory. (Working memory deals with the storage and processing of information over a short period of time.) The conclusion of the study was that knowledge of more than one language had contributed to their better working memory.

If you think you would benefit from a better working memory in your education, or daily life, then learning a foreign language might be just what you need!

3. Increased Attention Span

But the benefits for your study skills don’t stop there! Speaking a second language helps you focus, and deal with distractions appropriately, according to a study in the journal Brain and Language.

A bilingual person is accustomed to switching between different languages, deciding which is the appropriate language to use in a given situation (and which language should be avoided). This gives the brain plenty of practice in focusing and filtering information.

Basically, a bilingual person will be better at concentrating on what they’re doing – such as studying, reading or writing – and block out any noise or distractions.

4. Improved Ability To Multitask

Related to your attention span is your ability to multi-task. A study by the NIH discovered that because bilinguals have better working memories, can focus their attention, and can disregard distractions, they are able to switch between tasks quickly and easily (just as they are able to switch between languages).

Speaking two languages, and switching between them, makes you better at multi-tasking in other tasks, too.

5. Increased Perceptual Sensitivity

The benefits of multiple languages can start as early as before a baby is able to speak. A psychologist from the University of British Columbia found that babies who are raised in bilingual households are able to distinguish different languages when they are spoken, even if they are not familiar with those languages.

For example, a baby raised in a house where Spanish and Catalan are spoken, would also be able to tell the difference between a totally different pair of languages, such as English and French. Essentially, exposure to two languages early on contributes to a person’s perceptual sensitivity with unfamiliar things.

What this perceptual sensitivity could mean, is that babies raised with two languages will find it easier to learn other languages later in life, as a result of the ability to easily distinguish between different sounds.

So, if you’d like your child to grow up to be a polyglot, start them early on a second language!

6. Better Cognitive Abilities

Bilingual people have also been shown to have better cognitive abilities than monolinguals. Research from the University of Edinburgh suggests that specifically, bilingual people score better on tests of reading, verbal fluency and intelligence, all of which undoubtedly help bilinguals be better students.

Interestingly, this is regardless of what age the person learns the foreign language, so even a person who learns a foreign language as an adult will benefit from these improved skills.

Learning a foreign language can, in this way, help you learn other subjects too.

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