Maybe in high school you took a foreign language class because you didn’t want to sit in a study hall, or you needed an elective credit, or you really wanted to learn another language. Personally, I remember my first Spanish class, which was so very boring, slow and mandatory that I decided then and there that learning another language just wasn’t worth it.
There are so many benefits to learning another language, ranging from social (meeting new people) to physical (your brain changes how it thinks). Let’s take a look at how learning another language can impact your life.
Your English will improve:
Learning another language helps you improve your English! When you learn another language, you have to pay close attention the grammar, sentence structure, conjugations, and more. Because of this, you are more aware of how language, whether your native language or a foreign one, is structured.
Your social life will get a boost:
A huge motivation for some language learners is the sheer fact that once you know another language, you can meet and interact with more people. When learning another language, you not only meet native speakers, you’ll meet other language learners just as passionate as you are. You can learn together, make mistakes together, travel together…anything!
Your travel schedule will explode with opportunities:
Just like learning another language can open doors for meeting people, it can also open doors for seeing countries where the language you study is official. Learning a language usually means you learn the culture as well, and what better way to practice your language skills and explore a new culture than by traveling? It’s a fact that traveling becomes easier when you can communicate with locals. You don’t need to be fluent by any means—locals will appreciate that you’re trying!
Worried about traveling to a new country where your native language is not the official language? Read this article for some helpful tips and tricks!
Your academics will be improve:
Studies have shown that bilingual students tend to receive higher scores on standardized tests. On these tests, vocabulary, reading, and math are areas where there are significantly higher scores from bilingual students.
How could this be? Some researchers chalk it up to the fact that learning another language helps learners develop multitasking skills. Additionally, bilingual people have been shown to act more rationally and logically, which means better decision-making skills. Bilinguals also tend to be more perceptive of their surroundings.
Your brain will physically change:
One of the best things that happens to your brain when learning another language is that it actually becomes smarter. Your brain is challenged to recognize different words, negotiate meaning, and communicate when you speak another language. This also improves your memory and lengthens your attention span when you are exercising and strengthening your brain muscle.
Ward off degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s and dementia, for years just by learning another language! Neurologists think this is because learning another language increases the amount of neural pathways to the brain, so more information can be processed.
Regardless of their education level, gender or occupation, bilingual subjects in the linked study experienced the onset of Alzheimer’s, on average, 4 1/2 years later than monolingual subjects did (FluentU)
This Telegraph article and this FluentU article do a great job explaining the benefits of learning another language, as well as others. Hopefully this article has convinced you that learning another language is a valuable skill, and you’ll consider learning one. Whichever language you choose and whatever your motivation, you’ll be sure to see the fruits of your language learning labor in no time.