7 Advantages of Learning a Second Language
Learning a second language can be challenging but extremely rewarding. Whether you’re choosing to visit a different country and learn their language, or you’re having lessons or teaching yourself, here are some great advantages of learning a second language.
Socialisation is Enhanced
The ability to speak multiple languages provides you with the ability to speak to more people across the globe. Being able to speak to people in their own language allows you to better develop cross-cultural connections that can bring a multitude of benefits in itself, such as new friendships and opportunities to travel.
Career Opportunities are Boosted
Being fluent in a second language looks fantastic on your CV and job applications. It really demonstrates your brain power, patience, and ability to learn. As well as this, it opens up a lot of opportunities and job roles that require you to be able to speak the second language.
Memory is Protected
Various studies have suggested that being able to speak two languages delays memory problems, such as symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Being able to speak two languages therefore helps to protect an individual’s memory in the long-term!
Multitasking Skills Improve
Just like the ability to switch between languages, those who are able to speak a second language can easily juggle tasks. Individuals are essentially training their brain to be good at perceiving situations and evaluating priorities, allowing them to improve their multitasking skills. Having this skill proves to be useful during many situations in life.
Decision-making is Improved
A few studies have been conducted to measure the effect of learning a second language on decision-making abilities. Results have suggested that bilingual people are better at making more rational decisions, weighing up the situation sensibly and being able to make a good decision. On the other hand, people who only speak one language tend to make decisions based on their own emotions.
Research has found that learning a second language has an effect on brain size! According to this research, cortical thickness increases when an individual learns a second language. However, they found the effect to be the case when individuals learn a second language later in life, rather than as a child.
As well as this, bilingual speakers are seen to have more grey matter in the regions of the brain that are responsible for attention, inhibition, and short-term memory.
Other Academic Areas are Advanced
Learning a new language benefits you academically as you are essentially training your brain in lots of different ways. As a result of this, cognitive skills are enhanced across the board. For example, improvements in mathematics, reading, and vocabulary are included in this. Research has seen test scores improve as a result.
You might be surprised to realise that learning a second language can have so many benefits. Whether in terms of social skills and your personal life, or your academic life or professional career, being able to speak a second language can open up many opportunities.