What would you guess are some of the 37 things people most often say they regret when they’re older? Two items listed right at the top are that they didn’t travel when they had the chance and that they never learned another language. Students at Tucson International Academy shouldn’t have either one of those regrets! Not only does TIA arrange for students to travel all over the world, they also offer classes in Chinese and Spanish! The benefits of learning another language has is more important than one would imagine! Read on for ten ways being multilingual is powerfully beneficial!
1. Improves your brain size, health and function!
The language centers in the brain physically grow when you learn a new language. Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognize, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill transfers to other problem-solving tasks as well. 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. All that switching back and forth strengthens the synapses of the brain vastly improving its capabilities.
2. Delays dementia!
Being multilingual delays Alzheimer’s disease in susceptible people by as much as five years! It seems incredible, but studies are continuing to support this result. For monolingual adults, the mean age for the first signs of dementia is 71.4. For adults who speak two or more languages, the mean age for those first signs is 75.5. Studies considered factors such as education level, income level, gender, and physical health, but the results were consistent. Other studies showed that the effects of dementia were less advanced in bilingual patients even though their brains showed more brain damage as a result of the disease. To put this in context; the effect on dementia of learning another language is much greater than anything achievable with the latest drugs.
3. Boosts your memory!
Babies brought up in a bilingual environment have stronger working memories than those brought up with only one language. This means they are better at mental calculation, reading and many other vital skills. Educators often liken the brain to a muscle, because it functions better with exercise. Learning a language involves memorizing rules and vocabulary, which helps strengthen that mental “muscle.” This exercise improves overall memory, which means that multiple-language speakers are better at remembering lists or sequences. Studies show that bilinguals are better at retaining shopping lists, names, and directions.
4. Better multi-tasking and increased attention span!
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. Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing, and structure. This “juggling” skill makes them good at multitasking, because they can easily switch between different frames of thought. In one study, participants used a driving simulator while also performing other potentially distracting tasks. They discovered that people who spoke more than one language made fewer errors in their driving. Bilinguals have stronger control over their attention and are better able to limit distractions.
5. Helps in finding and maintaining a job and can increase salary!
Being multilingual is a very marketable skill on which employers put great value. Knowledge of a foreign language is equally useful for maintaining employment, particularly in industries where companies look to relocate business or expand into other markets. Knowledge of the language of the region where your company is expanding into new markets can make you indispensable to the success of the business as you bridge the cultural gap between the two locations. Also, some employers are willing to offer additional compensation to employees who have verifiable foreign language competency. For example, the FBI has developed a special program — Foreign Language Incentive Pay — that awards additional compensation to employees who have certified foreign language proficiency in critical foreign languages.
6. Increases perception!
Multilingual people are better at observing their surroundings. They are more adept at focusing on relevant information and editing out the irrelevant. They’re also better at spotting misleading information. Is it any surprise that Sherlock Holmes was a skilled polyglot? 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 color in different ways.
7. Improves 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. 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 and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator, editor, and writer.
8. Helps you explore other cultures and improves familial ties!
Knowing a foreign language can help keep your extended family intact while also expanding your network of contacts around the globe. On social networking sites, members speak many languages and live all over the globe. Knowing another language permits you to reach people who would not necessarily be in your network due to the difference in language. This enlarges the geographical scope of your relationships and enables you to expand your business and personal contacts.
9. Improves decision-making skills!
Bilinguals tend to make more rational decisions. Any language contains nuance and subtle implications in its vocabulary, and these biases can subconsciously influence your judgment. Bilinguals are more confident with their choices after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up.
10. Improves listening skills and become more language sensitive!
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. Infants in bilingual households can distinguish languages they’ve never even heard before. With the expanded vocabulary of 2 or more languages, multilingual folks are more adept at comprehending nuances in speech.
Let us bring the world to your child and your child to the world. Enroll Now!
Article by Betty Kruszka~TheJ3Effect