According to 8th Century ruler Charlemagne ‘to have a second language is to possess a second soul‘. Possibly because being bilingual allows us to delve deeper into another culture we would otherwise only skim the surface of.
But learning a second language comes with many more benefits too, especially when it comes to brainpower. Check out this list for some fascinating facts on what learning a language can do for you.
You Become Smarter
That’s right, learning a second language actually makes you more intelligent. How? It’s all to do with the way your brain works when you become bilingual. Your cognitive function changes so that your problem solving skills improve as does your ability to negotiate meaning.
You Slow The Onslaught Of Alzheimer’s And Dementia
Studies have show that on average monolingual adults develop signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia around the age of 71. In bilingual adults, however, the average jumps to 75. Whilst there are undoubtedly many factors affecting a person’s chance of developing these illnesses, a 4-year gap between mono and bilingual adults seems to suggest that learning a second language can do wonders for our brain health as we enter old age.
You Become Better At Making Decisions
Because the brain filters through two (or more) languages in a bilingual adult, people who have learned a second language find it easier to make decisions as well as feeling more confident in the decision they have made.
You Become Better At Multitasking
When you are fluent in a number of languages the brain is used to switching between different language systems and so it becomes more adept at multitasking. This practice at using different systems interchangeably suggests that people who learn a second language are more confident, skilled and efficient at doing multiple things at once.
You Improve Your Memory
By learning another language you can teach your brain to retain information more efficiently than monolingual speakers. Learning a foreign language requires people to learn rules and customs which makes it easier for bilingual speakers to memorise sequences and lists.
Your Native Language Will Improve
Learning the rules of another language make you more aware of the rules of your own. This makes bilingual speakers more proficient in grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure in their native language.
You Become A Better You
As well as giving your brain a boost, learning a second language allows you to work on your overall personal development. Being fluent in a second language requires dedication, drive and focus and these are skills you can begin to apply to every area of your life, and they’re certain to impress an employer too.
There are endless benefits from learning a second language including brain development, personal development and career opportunities. Why not brush up on the language you studied during your school days? Better still, why not dive into another world of language learning altogether?
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