A shocking fact: of all the languages we have today, only a tiny fraction will stay in the future. The humanity is on its way to creating a universal language everybody will understand. The languages of today will either alter a lot or disappear with some time. Does that mean that there is no rational reason to learn a foreign language except for becoming more educated? Why should you dedicate time to learning French if you are not planning to stay in France for more than a couple of weeks, right? And do your children need to do it as well?
These are the profound questions we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives. The hesitation of whether one should dedicate several years to regular language lessons is understandable. The bonuses you get from speaking numerous languages are not that obvious (at least most of them). Let’s look at this issue closer and try to find out more about the impact it has on our lives.
1. Bigger Brain
According to the Swedish MRI study, the impact of learning a foreign language can be noticed. It is no longer an abstract effect of knowing more and becoming a bit smarter. You can actually see on the MRI scans how the specific parts of the brains get bigger while learning a foreign language. Your language talents start to bloom and the educational process becomes easier. Moreover, those who can speak several languages can boast having better memory and being more creative than those who can’t.
Another superpower you get after learning a foreign language is the ability to make more rational decisions. The explanation is rather simple. When you analyze a situation in your native language, you do it automatically without spending too much time on various aspects of the given issue. Analyzing it in a foreign language lights up a different area of the brain and includes more thorough consideration process.
Continuing on, you will be able to enjoy your new skills of multitasking and improved attention span. The process of becoming familiar with another language’s rules teaches you to concentrate on the particular task – writing, reading, etc. Your brain learns to block out all the distractions and focus on the important tasks. Furthermore, shifting between the languages improves your abilities to multitasking. So, there you have a great tip on how to become more productive.
2. Better Health
Believe it or not but speaking a foreign language can postpone the manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Those were the findings of the scholars during the recent studies. Learning a second language can win you up yo five years. It may seem like a stretch but learning a language keeps your brain in shape and makes it regularly cope with numerous exercises.
There is a myth about the age you should start learning a foreign language. The earlier you begin the better. Supposedly, you’ll get to benefit more from all these advantages if you are young. That is not necessarily true. the positive impact of being bilingual applies also to those who didn’t have an opportunity to learn languages as children. According to a recent study, language learning is always beneficial no matter when you decide to do it.
3. Smarter Children
One of the benefits a child receives when exposed to more than one language as early as possible is the ability to learn foreign languages easier later on in life. According to the studies done by Cornell University, babies can recognize various languages even before they learn to speak them. They get to notice the diversity of sounds of different languages and tell them from one another. They can later apply this ability to process the unfamiliar information.
Another study by UCLA proves that the three first years of a child’s life are not the most advantageous ones to go forward with learning languages. You may have read a lot of articles dedicated to this topic. Parents around the globe look for bilingual kindergartens to start the process of learning as early as possible. But as this study states, it is the period between six and thirteen years that is most beneficial for adding this project to a child’s schedule. It is the most effective period of language brain areas growth.
4. Successful Career
It is difficult to estimate the significance of learning a foreign language for nailing a job interview at your dream company as it varies from one profession to another. So, let’s consider its overall benefits. In some cases, being multilingual can increase your chances of being invited for a job interview as your CV will have some additional benefit. For example, the employers in Europe are no longer satisfied with candidates speaking only two languages.
Every business wants to grow and conquer new international markets. A professional who can easily express her thoughts in several languages is something every company is looking for. Speaking more languages gives you a bigger variety of choices. You can search for job opportunities abroad to find better conditions and motivating remuneration.
So what? Should I Start Learning?
We hope there are no such questions in your head after reading this article. We’ve tried to outline the most significant advantage learning a second language has and encourage you to start as soon as possible. You’ll have a lot of fun. It might be quite difficult at the beginning but the great variety of resources available can turn the learning process into a fun game. There is an endless number of applications and online tools to help you reach the set goals and speed up the process.
Don’t forget that the best way to memorize new words is to listen to music and watch movies or TV shows in that particular language. Don’t quit after a week of studies as many people do. they lose motivation and interest within some time. Make yourself go on and recall the benefits this activity will bring you. Better health, brain activity, and career are definitely the things to look forward to.