Learning a foreign language seems to be useless when you look at the surface of it but, when you dig deep down being bilingual has numerous benefits attached to it. According to various psychological studies, it has been concluded that students who study more than one languages are always smarter than those people who are not bilingual. Here are all the ways our brain benefits by learning a foreign language.
1. It gives you exposure to a different culture: When you start learning a new language, you do not only learn different words and their meanings but, you also learn the culture behind those words and that language.
2. It makes you smart: Not only do you look smart by being bilingual but, you actually become smart because, learning a new language has proven to help the cognitive process. When you start learning a foreign language, your brain starts to recognise and understand things that it has never done before. All this new information serves as an exercise to your brain to think smarter and sharper. Your brain is just like a muscle that only functions better when it is put to exercise. You exercise your muscles by making them endure intense workout sessions and you exercise your brain by providing it new information each day.
3. It helps you build the skill of multitasking: Bilingual or multilingual people are always switching between different languages, tones and speech. This subconsciously makes them better at multitasking and juggling tasks as compared to those people who do not know more than one language.
4. It is known to improve your memory: Learning a foreign language has proven to sharpen memories and prevent various diseases and illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Just like your brain, your memory also improves when you exercise it by memorising new things. Hence, by memorising new words, their use and their meanings, you exercise your memory to sharpen it. This can save you from various harmful diseases like Alzheimer’s in which a person is unable to remember most of their life and it also prevents dementia which reduces your capability to think, remember and perform everyday tasks.
5. You become more perceptive: By learning a new foreign language, you gain more perception regarding various things in life. You are able to observe, analyse and understand concepts that most people do not even notice. It has been concluded by a research conducted by the University of Pompeu Fabra that, people who are multilingual or bilingual tend to observe things that others do not even pay a second glance.
6. Learning a foreign language improves your decision-making skills: It has been discovered through a study conducted by the University of Chicago that, bilingual and multilingual people are better at making decisions. The make quicker and more rational decisions that those students who only master in one language. This because your vocabulary is known to influence your decisions to a certain degree. Hence, the more languages you know, the more decisive you become. These people not only think in their first language but, as they are in the process of deciding, they also subconsciously start thinking in their second language, which helps them decide faster and better.
To conclude, it would not be wrong to say that learning a foreign language not only improves the cognitive process of your brain but, it also helps you succeed in various areas of life. It may be hard to learn and grasp at first but, in the end it is all worth it.
Morgan, Bethan. “The Value of Foreign Languages.” Alice in Wonderland: Stuff and Nonsense | LearnEnglish Teens - British Council, 15 May 2013, learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/magazine/life-around-world/value-foreign-languages.