By Contributor One strives to learn a foreign language for a variety of reasons. A teacher in a multilingual school has to have the ability to reach out to students of different cultures.
Far better, it was thought, to get one right than bother with two. An even more extreme and absurd view was that learning two languages caused a kind of schizophrenia or dual personality.
Some studies did seem to back up the idea that learning two languages could be problematic; early researchers noted that bilingual people tended to have smaller vocabularies and slower access to words.
But these myths and minor disadvantages have now been overshadowed by a wave of new research showing the incredible psychological benefits of learning a second language.
And these extend way beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel. Brain growth The fact that language centres in the brain actually grow is one of the major benefits of learning a second language.
Seems incredible, but the studies are continuing to support this result. To put this in context: Hear language better Being bilingual can lead to improved listening skills, since the brain has to work harder to distinguish different types of sounds in two or more languages Krizman et al.
Just being exposed to the different sounds in, for example, Spanish and Catalan, helps them tell the difference between English and French is another of the benefits of learning a second language.
Boost your memory Babies brought up in a bilingual environment have stronger working memories than those brought up with only one language Morales et al.
This means they are better at mental calculation, reading and many other vital skills. Better multi-tasking Bilingual people can switch from one task to another more quickly. They show more cognitive flexibility and find it easier to adapt to unexpected circumstances Gold et al.
Double the activation Cognitive boosts, like improved attention and better multi-tasking, may come because bilingual people have both languages activated at the same time, and must continually monitor which one is appropriate Francis, All that switching back and forth confers the benefits of learning a second language.
New ways of seeing Learning a new language can literally change the way you see the world. Learning Japanese, for example, which has basic terms for light and dark blue, may help you perceive the colour in different ways Athanasopoulos et al.
Improve your first language Since learning a second language draws your attention to the abstract rules and structure of language, it can make you better at your first language.
As Geoffrey Willans said:Arguably, this is one of the most phenomenal benefits of learning a new language. Your language skills tear down all communication barriers in the world. In the era of the internet, you can find friends in every corner of the world.
Africa, Asia, New Zealand are just a few clicks away. Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured.
One of the most interesting aspects of learning a new language is how it can benefit your life in powerful and often unpredictable ways.
I have fond memories of the time when, fifteen years ago, I was sitting on the steps of a fountain in my home city of Rome, Italy. Some benefits of learning a new language: 1. Job opportunities. Bilingual candidates have more job options and higher chances of getting hired.
If you want to work in an international setting, this is a must-have skill! The benefits of learning a second language. by Jennifer Smith.
Learning a new language takes time and dedication. Once you do, being fluent in a second language offers numerous benefits and opportunities. Jun 19, · Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure.
This makes you more .