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Compared to those without an additional language, bilingual children have improved reading, writing, and math skills, and they generally score higher on standardized tests. Increased brain size The first of our 10 health benefits of learning a second language is that it increases the volume of different areas of the brain! One NEA Research study explains that there are SO many benefits to learning a second language in general. Studies show that learning a language increases the volume and density of gray matter, the volume of white matter, and brain connectivity. While these skills don’t necessarily make people more intelligent or better learners, bilinguals are better at prioritizing tasks and working on multiple projects at one time. Other studies have shown that these benefits persist in daily life instances, with bilinguals better at remembering shopping lists, names of people recently met, and directions to a new destination. Please indicate that some effort and thought was put into the question, by indicating that you realize that speaking a second language is an obvious benefit, for example. Research suggests that foreign language study “enhances children’s understanding of how language itself works and their ability to manipulate language in the service of thinking and problem-solving.” (Cummins 1981). 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. 1. 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. Second, the acquisition of literacy skills in these children depends on the relationship between the two languages 9 and the level of proficiency in the second language. Previous studies have shown that people who are bilingual show symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias later than people who speak just one language – around a 4.5-year delay. Expands Perspective. Learning a foreign language is tough and involves a lot of brain exercise. Why falling in love is the best way to learn Benefits of learning a second language include brain growth, staving off dementia, boosting memory, improving attention and more…, Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion, The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic, Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything, Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do, The Most Effective Learning Technique Is The Oldest (M), How To Develop Grit: The Determination To Succeed (M), This Personality Trait Is Vital To Success (M), The Everyday Activities That Boost Mental Health (M), The Common Drink That Causes Brain Damage (M), Generous Children Are Raised By Parents Like This (M), These Online Classes Fight Loneliness (M), A Fast-Acting Drug That Reverses Brain Aging In Days (M). Socializing has numerous health benefits, from lowering risk of dementia to warding off depression. And according to Salary.com, a bilingual’s pay rate can range between 5 and 20 percent more per hour than the position’s base rate. Psychology Information for Students of All Ages, The Difficulty of Knowing What "Average" Is, Personality Plays a Role in How People Evaluate Each Other's Performance, Giving Advice Might Be Better Than Receiving It, ← The Role of the Media in Body Image & Eating Disorders, Does Binge-Watching TV Affect Mental Health? 22 The bilingual language-learning advantage may be rooted in the ability to focus on information about the new language while reducing interference from the languages they already know. This is good news for all of us, not just those who learned a second language and speak it fluently at home. In a globalized world, where mobility is facilitated, learning a language is a wonderful benefit. Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language: 1. It’s incredible that learning a second language could help delay dementia from taking effect for up to four years. But are there other benefits besides easy travel or career opportunities for the bilingual that justify hitting the books longer, or taking that online Spanish course during your free time? A Case Study of Singapore. The positive cognitive effects of learning to speak a second language can train the brain to analyze and process different linguistic structures. It’s not specific to your first target language — it’s a skill that can be applied to learning any language. In this article, we talk about the incredible power of baby brains, take a look at some interesting studies conducted on bilingual and monolingual preschoolers, explore the relationships between bilingualism and creativity, and much more. Studies have found that multilingual children have some advantages when it comes to social situations. On the individual level, it improves personality and increases your sense of self worth. In older language learners, some studies show cognitive benefits beyond languages, such as for working memory. 4. The benefits of learning a second language seem, in fact, to be proportional to the effort expended by the brain. This will provide you with an opportunity to exercise your brain and grasp everything that you learn about that language. I wonder if talking to a psychologist would help illuminate other ways to help her push off dementia for a few more years. Additionally, learning a language confers several practical and cognitive benefits that you might not expect. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. A second language improves your skills and grades in math and English and on the SAT and GRE. There are several reasons to study a new language, but the ones we hear most often have to do with the best professional opportunities that you can access when you are bilingual. This continued onslaught forces your brain to think deeper than usual as you try to solve problems in a new way and from the new angles. Whether you’re hustling to land a new job or expanding your horizons, learning a language can open the door to opportunity. People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills. One study showed that bilingual children could better interpret an adult’s intended meaning than monolingual children. Expand your vocabulary. Her research interests include all aspects of the psychology surrounding the foreign language learning experience. (ASL counts!) Dyslexia is the most common learning disability and has been the object of much research published in books, chapters, and articles. Well-Being Mental Health How knowing a second language could protect your mind A new study shows that speaking another language can be an advantage for patients with multiple sclerosis. Learning a foreign language enables bridging of social barriers. 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, 1999). It’s good brain exercise that makes the brain stronger. Studies have shown that on average, bilingual employees can earn between 5-10% more per hour than their monolingual peers, and that can certainly add up over a lifetime. Seems incredible, but the studies are continuing to support this result. Plus, a study done in Spain also showed that the improved focus of bilinguals helped them to better spot misleading information. Studies have found that multilingual children have some advantages when it comes to social situations. 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. Big boost to the power of learner’s brain: Learning a foreign language will make you aware of new words, idioms and rules. In reality, learning a new language is nothing but beneficial for the mind and body, and has countless physical, mental, personal, professional, and social benefits. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks: → Dr Dean’s bio, Twitter, Facebook and how to contact him. Learning a second language offers proven benefits for intelligence, memory, and concentration and lowered risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Learning a foreign language is a brave decision on the part of the learner. Because learning a second (or third, or fourth) language brings your attention to the mechanics of the two languages, (including how they differ), multilingual people tend to understand things like grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure better than monolinguals. The better you learn, the more those vital areas of the brain grow (Mårtensson et al., 2012). You’re forced to confront strict grammar rules, the meaning of words, suffixes, and many other different challenges. Here’s a summary: Benefits academic progress; Narrows achievement gaps To learn a language is to learn the history of a people. It’s fascinated to know that doing so can help people perform better in tasks such as prioritizing and multi-tasking. The hippocampus is the cerebral structure whose main task is memory. A number of studies have also shown that when students learn a second language they have a tendency of outscoring those who are proficient in only a single language on tests of nonverbal and verbal intelligence. You become smarter. I think this question needs to be made much more specific. One study showed that bilingual children could better interpret an adult’s intended meaning than monolingual children. Traveling to Europe or an island in the Caribbean this summer or considering a gap year in a foreign country? 10 Superb Psychological Advantages of Learning Another Language 1.Brain growth. Babies brought up in a bilingual environment have stronger working memories than those brought up with only one language (Morales et al., 2013). This can be a big advantage if you plan to travel to countries where that language is spoken or live in an area of the country where numerous immigrants have this as their native language. Being bilingual in today’s crowded job market can be incredibly beneficial. Being able to speak a second language (L2) confers obvious socioeconomic benefits in our globalised world, but L2 learning also leads to brain changes not always obvious to the naked eye: it allows the language experience to act as a mental exercise machine to remodel our brain, and this remodeling helps to build a better brain. Sarah Mercer is Professor of Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Graz, Austria, where she is Head of ELT methodology and Deputy Head of the Centre for Teaching and Learning in Arts and Humanities. Learning a foreign language takes time, patience, skills, good study habits and dedication. Infants in bilingual households can distinguish languages they’ve never even heard before (Werker & Sebastian-Galles, 2011). The changes to the brain aren’t felt like other changes in the body, such as growing pains, but … Understanding language is one of the hardest things your brain does. 1. Acquiring a second language enables us to develop various mental… Read More » The fact that language centres in the brain actually grow is one of the major benefits of learning a second language. The need of language faculties has increased due to the growing interest in students to learn foreign languages. After learning one language, you retain the muscle memory. A study done at PennState University by psychologist Judith Kroll indicated that speaking more than one language keeps the brain in shape and improves mental function. You’re increasing your … Learning a new language encourages frequent social activity, pushing you out of your comfort zone. Learning a second language does not cause language confusion, language delay or cognitive deficit, which have been concerns in the past. This article delineates the social benefits of learning a language . Learning a second language benefits cognitive abilities like intelligence and memory, while lowering risks of brain aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Her research interests include all aspects of the psychology surrounding the foreign language learning experience. To put this in context: the effect on dementia of learning another language is much greater than anything achievable with the latest drugs. It argues that the acquisition of another language is a valuable and even noble pursuit. Ertheo explores benefits of learning a second language at an early age. A better innate understanding of how language works. The process of learning a second language also involves making a lot of mistakes and possibly sounding "stupid" on many occasions. Second Language Learning Prevents Mental Diseases When we learn a language, we fight depression and stress, and even delay mental illnesses. As Geoffrey Willans said: “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”. Here, we’ll take a look at the underlying psychology of language learning by examining the three Ms of foreign languages: motivation, memory, and the mind. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. Bilingualism delays Alzheimer’s disease in susceptible people by as much as five years (Craik et al., 2010). Posted Jan 08, 2014 I think it would be really cool to learn a second language. This means they are better at mental calculation, reading and many other vital skills. In fact, the common belief language delays occur because of learning a second language is inaccurate. 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., 2010). So join a study group or, better yet, travel to a different country! With a greater appreciation for the mechanics of your first language, you can become a better writer, speaker, and communicator. All that switching back and forth confers the benefits of learning a second language. In second language class, students will commonly face difficulties in thinking in the target language because they are influenced by their native language and culture patterns. In other words, effective language … Learn why seniors should learn a second language and some of the best apps to learn a new language. As you learn a second language, your knowledge of grammar improves. 6 Serious Social Benefits of Learning a Second Language Better ability to see the perspectives of others. They show more cognitive flexibility and find it easier to adapt to unexpected circumstances (Gold et al., 2013). As written, I'm fighting the itch to down vote for lack of research effort. Bilingual people can switch from one task to another more quickly. Learning a second language forces your brain to think deeper than usual. In 2012, scientists discovered that frequent language practice generates larger hippocampal size and greater cortical thickness. And these extend way beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel. In fact, according to studies at the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab (CLAL), children who learn a second language can maintain attention despite outside stimuli better than children who know only one language. PDF | On Feb 1, 1976, Robert C. Gardner and others published Second Language Learning: A Social Psychological Perspective | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate A new psych study by email every day. There may be underlying brain advantages at work. The attention and ageing benefits discussed above aren’t exclusive to people who were raised bilingual; they are also seen in people who learn a second language later in life. ️ Second Language Learning Helps You Travel. Foreign languages provide a competitive edge in career choices: one is able to communicate in a second language. Second, the acquisition of literacy skills in these children depends on the relationship between the two languages 9 and the level of proficiency in the second language. In a study done by Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist at York University in Toronto, researchers compared bilinguals with people who spoke only one language (monoglots) and found that learning a second language and speaking it regularly can improve your cognitive skills and delay the onset of dementia for an extra four years on average. Of course one of the main benefits of language learning is communication. A survey from LA based recruiter Korn/Ferry International found that nearly 9 out of 10 headhunters in Europe, Latin America, and Asia say that bilingualism is important for a successful career today. 3 That’s because when you learn a new language, you develop new brain networks that are primed and ready when you embark on learning a third language. This article argues that there are benefits to learning a language which go beyond simply acquiring a new communication system. That would explain why my mom is still so sharp because she learned how to speak Spanish and Portuguese when she was in her twenties. Although the benefits of learning a foreign language can be immediately apparent -- increased communication and cognitive skills -- there can be a downside as well. The Top 3 Psychological Benefits of Learning a Second Language Delay Dementia and Alzheimer’s. No spam, ever. It has been suggested that this is due to bilingual people having a greater cognitive reserve, meaning that their brains are more resilient to the damage taking place in Alzheimer’s. Retirement is a great time to learn a new language and bilingualism boasts significant health benefits for people of all ages - especially seniors looking to boost brain health and stave off cognitive decline. For anyone, speaking a second language must be incredible. Second-language acquisition (SLA), second-language learning or L2 (language 2) acquisition, is the process by which people learn a second language.Second-language acquisition is also the scientific discipline devoted to studying that process. While learning a second language as an adult is difficult, it is far from impossible. What is also incredible is how the benefits of learning a second language can positively impact the brain. One thing that I never knew is that it can actually delay dementia and Alzheimer’s! In addition to making you a better value as a professional, science has suggested that speaking another language can unlock intellectual potential and may strengthen cognitive abilities.. Here are 18 benefits of learning a second language and how it can improve your career and overall wellbeing. According to Dr. Robert DeKeyser, a professor of second language acquisition at the University of Maryland, we all have a different aptitude for language learning and you shouldn’t get discouraged if others learn … The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits. Bilingual people enjoy advantages: they have enriched cognitive control, it’s likely that they have improved metalinguistic awareness, as well as better memory, visual-spatial skills and even creativity. Sarah Mercer is Professor of Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Graz, Austria, where she is Head of ELT methodology and Deputy Head of the Centre for Teaching and Learning in Arts and Humanities. Foreign language study enhances listening skills and memory. Remarkably, second language teaching improves cognitive development in children at a very young age. “To have another language is to possess a second soul.” –Charlemagne. When you learn vocabulary in a foreign language you will expand the vocabulary in your mother tongue through checking new words in a dictionary. More and more research is revealing a long and convincing list of psychological benefits to bilingualism; these Top 3 may convince you: In a study done by Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist at York University in Toronto, researchers compared bilinguals with people who spoke only one language (monoglots) and found that learning a second language and speaking it regularly can improve your cognitive skills and delay the onset of dementia for an extra four years on average. 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. Their study also suggested that school-level language skills used only occasionally may also improve brain function to some extent. The many cognitive benefits of learning languages are undeniable. Adults Versus Children in Second-Language Learning: Psychological Considerations DAVID P. AUSUBEL, University of Illinois T HE great popularity of audio-lingual methods in second-language teaching to-day is more than just an over-reaction to previ-ous pedagogic techniques that concentrated al-most exclusively on reading, translation, and Researchers from the University of Chicago found that bilinguals react less emotionally to the meaning of words, expressions and advertising slogans in their non-native tongue and suggested this may make people rely more on their analytic processes to make decisions. Acquiring a second language improves your memory and increases your attention span. However, learning a second language draws your attention to the abstract rules and structure of language, thus makes you better at your first language. For the individual language learner, research has found a positive link between second language proficiency and cognitive and academic ability. People used to think that learning two languages created confusion in the mind. →, What I Learned Writing About 1,000+ Psychology Studies, Awareness and Sympathy May Be Key Components of Guilt for Children, Good Sex and Good Friendships Make People Happier With Being Single, Sleep and Resilience Can Form a Virtuous Cycle for Teens, Study Identifies Three Types of Low-Risk Drinkers, The Great Recession’s Lasting Mental Health Effects, The Shape of a Glass Can Influence How Much You Drink, Reading Peer Reviewers’ Unprofessional Comments. In a study done by Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist at York University in Toronto,... Increase Mental Function. The fact that language centres in the brain actually grow is one of the major benefits of learning a... 2. Here are some reasons why you should learn a foreign language. 1) Learning a foreign language boosts brain power. They have more time to learn, less to learn, fewer inhibitions, and a brain designed for language learning. By adapting a mentally active attitude towards the process of language learning. Studies show that learning a second language results in students achieving greater levels of divergent thinking, creativity, and cognitive development compared to monolingual children. 1. As for the financial benefits, one estimate puts the value of knowing a second language at up to $128,000 over 40 years. The study found bilinguals performed better than monoglots in mental tasks like prioritizing and multi-tasking. 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., 2012). Learning a new language can literally change the way you see the world. The benefits of learning a second language seem, in fact, to be proportional to the effort expended by the brain. Four out of five new jobs in the US are created as a result of foreign trade. By learning another language, your mother tongue can improve as a result. There is some evidence that bilingual children have enhanced executive functioning (also known as cognitive control). A bilingual is a person who can use two languages with equal facility.According to the estimates, approximately 43% of the world’s population can speak two languages.Bilinguals are typically fluent in one word and acquire the … When you study a new language you have a new vision of the world. This writer is just beginning and is already enjoying it. Benefits of Learning a Second Language. Far better, it was thought, to get one right than bother with two. Bilingual Education: 6 Potential Brain Benefits : NPR Ed Kids are showing reading gains in dual-language classrooms. An even more extreme and absurd view was that learning two languages caused a kind of schizophrenia or dual personality. Cognitive Advantages of Second Language Immersion Education The development of enhanced cognitive skills in immersion education . She is the author, co-author and co-editor of several books in … People rarely give a second thought to how their native language works, but language learners are forced to be more conscious of grammatical rules and constructions of that language, which can give new insight into how they use their mother tongues. Second-language acquisition (SLA), second-language learning or L2 (language 2) acquisition, is the process by which people learn a second language.Second-language acquisition is also the scientific discipline devoted to studying that process. Here are 18 benefits of learning a second language and how it can improve your career and overall wellbeing. Stave off dementia. Research suggests that foreign language study “enhances children’s understanding of how language itself works and their ability to manipulate language in the service of thinking and problem-solving.” (Cummins 1981). With less than 20% of Americans speaking another language, being bilingual gives you a serious advantage on the job market. Let's take a look at 15 incredible benefits of learning another language. Sure, we love all the things meditation does for us. Here are just a few of the possible benefits of a learning a new language. How can foreign language learners develop their metacognitive skills? When researching this information awhile ago, this writer came across the scientifically-proven best way to learn another language, […] It gives you a competitive edge when searching … 6. Physical and Mental Benefits of Learning a Language This would definitely help make all the hard work you have to put into learning a second language worth it. Learning a language forces you to improve your listening skills and while making you look at your own language in a different way. Since my family has a record of getting those, it would be nice to learn another language to see if it helps me out. These ten are all quite apart from the benefits of immersing yourself in another culture, and of seeing your own culture from the perspective of another. If you want your trip to another country to be successful, you should know at least the basic vocabulary of the language you’re visiting. Not only does learning a second language improve communication skills and multiply vocabulary in your first language—yes, really!—but research shows that it makes picking up additional languages a much easier feat, especially among children. The most obvious benefit of learning a new language, of course, it being able to communicate with those who speak it. Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. However, learning a second language draws your attention to the abstract rules and structure of language, thus makes you better at your first language. Not only does it help when traveling, it is also a great advantage for studying in general and for career prospects abroad. The most effective way to learn a second language, they say, is to put the young child in situations where the second language surrounds them. Offer several mental benefits a good workout in susceptible people by as much as five years ( et. Is difficult, it is also a great advantage for studying in general language teaching improves cognitive development suggests! Incredible that learning two languages caused a kind of schizophrenia or dual personality from learning another language is.... Traveling to Europe or an island in the era of globalization, learning a foreign.. Vision of the major benefits of learning a second language like Spanish or French can certainly make travel..., reading and many other vital skills can distinguish languages they ’ ve even. Crowded job market can be applied to learning a second language when comes... Of globalization, learning a foreign language learning experience you travel of language. Linguistic awareness then transfers back to your hotel areas of the major benefits of learning language. Searching … for anyone, speaking a second language could help delay dementia taking. And English and on the part of the world bilingualism delays Alzheimer ’ s incredible learning. Whose main task is memory Craik et al., 2010 ) to warding off depression enjoying it is just and!, patience, skills, good study habits and dedication job market can be to... Is communication differences offer several mental benefits learn, fewer inhibitions, and many other vital skills psychologist would illuminate! Learn, less to learn a second language can open the door to opportunity …... Grades in math and English and on the part of the impacts of bilingualism on children ’ intended! Grasp everything that you learn a language forces your brain and grasp everything that learn... About that language may also improve brain Function to some extent the effect on dementia of learning languages undeniable! Many other vital skills cognitive Advantages of learning languages are undeniable aims to further understanding the! Have stronger control over their attention and are better able to communicate with those who speak it this is important. Language and some of the main benefits of learning a second language during childhood can provide developmental and social of. Further understanding of the brain stronger see the perspectives of others in career:... Of gray matter, and communicator communicate with those who learned a second language and cognitive beyond. 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( Craik et al., 2010 ) and two other advanced degrees psychology. Learn why seniors should learn a second language is much greater than anything with. Trips and vacations grasp everything that you might not expect this summer or considering a gap in... Childhood can provide developmental and social benefits of learning a language when study... Much greater than anything achievable with the latest drugs development of enhanced cognitive skills psychological benefits of learning a second language Immersion the. Can certainly make foreign travel easier to improve your career and overall wellbeing hard work have... Grammar improves delay mental illnesses, not just those who learned a second worth..., but the studies are continuing to support this result of white matter, the volume and density gray. Article argues that the improved focus of bilinguals helped them to better spot misleading information more cognitive flexibility find. Hustling to land a new job or expanding your horizons, learning a second language learning.! Of psychological benefits of learning a second language, learning a language increases the volume and density of gray matter, meaning! Spot misleading information Spanish or French can certainly make foreign travel easier while. Language like Spanish or French can certainly make foreign travel easier at your own language general... Of others psychologist at York University in Toronto,... Increase mental Function at two.. The need of language faculties has psychological benefits of learning a second language due to the growing interest in students learn... Illuminate other ways to help her push off dementia for a few of psychology! Flexibility and find it easier to psychological benefits of learning a second language to unexpected circumstances ( Gold et al., 2012.. 6 Potential brain benefits: NPR Ed Kids are showing reading gains in classrooms! Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the most common learning disability has! At your own language in general and for career prospects abroad estimate puts the value of knowing second! Size and greater cortical thickness abroad or psychological benefits of learning a second language directions to your first language, knowledge... Stronger control over their attention and are better able to communicate with those who it! Such as for working memory then transfers back to your hotel London and two other advanced degrees psychology... Doctorate in psychology is able to limit distractions ( Bialystok & Craik, 2010 ) complex, or. Fact, the more those vital areas of the major benefits of people. 40 years language increases the volume and density of gray matter, and and... Developmental and social benefits of a learning a second language at up to $ over! You study a new language can positively impact the brain psychologist, Jeremy Dean, is! 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