Learning a second language has some obvious benefits in the present globalised world. Some people learn the language out of their love for learning them. Some aims to be a polyglot to better their CVs and resumes. Some people want to travel and experience cultures in a better way. Others want to read books or watch shows in the native languages there are produced. Learning languages have social, psychological and even physical effects on the learner. Some significant influences learning can cause on a knowledge seeker are listed below.
Surprising Benefits of Learning A Second Language
The scientists of the university of Edinberg have inferred that cognitive abilities (this includes reading, verbal fluency and general intelligence) are very high in individuals who have learned two or more languages. This is according to the comparison made with people who spoke only one language. The studies also state that you are never too old or late to learn a new language and benefit from it. The individuals who have learned a new language as adults also were found to enjoy the benefits of learning an extra language.
Multi-tasking is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people can make it work, while others end up messing up the task they are assigned to complete. This is because multi-tasking requires you to disengage from the first task you were doing and switch into an entirely different mindset to work on the second task. The same switch has to be made swiftly back and forth for the effective completion of both jobs. People who are unable to adapt to these sudden switches will remain vulnerable to distraction and ends up making mistakes or taking more time to complete the work. Many scientific studies indicate that people who speak multiple languages are better at multi-tasking than the ones who speak only one language. Multilingual people have a better attention span and cognitive flexibility. This is because the brain knows several languages and has to work constantly to be aware of which words from which language it should use. This makes one’s brain get used to multitasking. Bilingualism significantly increases executive functioning in parts of the brain responsible for cutting off distraction, which, in the case of speaking several languages, prevents a word from one language from sliding into place while speaking another. This same activity trains one’s brain to adapt its multi-tasking abilities and other fortes of life in the same manner. This increase the productivity of the said individual and reduces the stress which can occur during multi-tasking.
Another benefit of learning a second language is that it increases a person’s resistance to dementia and Alzheimer’s. the studies conducted by “Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in India” infers that a multilingual people got dementia 4 and a half years later than the individuals who spoke a single language. These results were similar regardless of the test subject’s education level, gender, income and even physical health. Delaying the beginning of such devastating diseases even for a few years is no small feat.
Learning a second language is a big step towards better life if you are a person struggling with rash decision making. When a person thinks in their native language i.e. mother tongue the decisions that are made will be more likely to be based upon emotions. It is found that when a person thinks in their non-native language they tend to make more rational decisions. The University of Chicago has conducted studies that concluded that bilingual people took more rational decisions. It turns out that preconceptions included in the complexity and subtle connotations of the language in which the situation is presented might unconsciously impact a person’s judgement. Those biases can be decreased by thinking through a choice in another language, resulting in an improved, more reasonable conclusion.
It is also widely stated that learning a second language can stimulate brain activity and growth. Learning a second language exposes the brain to additional complications such as rules and etymology. The language centres in the brain grow as the brain struggles to identify the structure of the unknown language and how to properly utilise it. The more you study, the larger those cerebral areas get, which eventually helps with other skills like reading, negotiation, and problem-solving.
Learning a second language can enhance your knowledge of your mother tongue. When a person gets fairly competent in their second language, they become aware of the differences in the structure of the foreign language and become more aware of their original language’s vocabulary, syntax, conjugation, idioms, and sentence form. This increased awareness increases understanding and dialogue in the mother tongue and can help them become more proficient in their first language.
It is also discovered that the children who grow up in bilingual households have better language abilities compared to the ones growing up with only one language. They will have stronger working memory and are better at recognising linguistic differences. Because multilingual brains must operate in diverse ways, they acquire better cognitive abilities. People who speak more than one language had superior standardised test results in arithmetic, reading comprehension, and vocabulary when compared to monolingual children. Immersion in different languages is recognised to boost IQ and foster creativity in kids.
Being multilingual might help you enhance your listening skills. Consider this: distinguishing sounds in two or more languages requires your brain to work harder. An intriguing study conducted by Northwestern University researchers discovered that speaking more than one language “may modify the way our senses work together to comprehend speech.” Specifically, vision and hearing.
Different cultures perceive the world in somewhat different ways, and language may reflect this through distinctive terminology, syntax, and sentence structure. Japanese has a wider colour spectrum than many other languages, Finnish lacks a future tense, and certain Amazonian tribes have no notion of time at all. Speaking and thinking in a language with a different logic than your native tongue may greatly extend your viewpoint. According to Ludwig Wittgenstein, “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
And one of the most important points is that learning a second language can increase a person’s career opportunities. We are living in a more multicultural society. Corporations establish international offices, and remote positions with foreign companies are formed. The need for multilingual workers is bigger than ever. In many respects, learning a second language may quadruple the number of professional alternatives open to you. You broaden your work pool to many nations. Jobs like teaching, blogging, content writing, translation and transcription are available for people who wish to work as freelancers and have excellent language skills. Download the Entri app to learn English as your second language and broaden the horizons of your career opportunities.