The last two decades have witnessed a revival in the people’s interest in language learning. The growing appreciation for multilingual individuals about the diverse roles that they can play in an increasingly diverse society makes a positive case for learning new languages. But as people will tell you, learning a new language is an excruciatingly painful and slow process, which becomes all the more difficult with the aging process. Here are some benefits that make it totally worth it.
A brain has billion of neurons which get excited, transmit and receive electrochemical signals to communicate with other cells of the body and give a reaction, take an action or perceive the environment. The better one is able to train his neurons, the better his brain’s ability to act, react and perceive becomes. Scientists have found in researches conducted over the course of past two decades that there are many exercises and actions that can have a stimulating effect on the brain. Second language acquisition is one of those activities.
Thus, it would be wrong to assume that the benefits of learning a new language are simply limited to the ability of speak in another language. Multiple psychological studies have confirmed that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people or multilingual people, as a matter of fact, operates differently than single-language speakers, and these differences make up for a better performance in other activity areas of life.
A smarter brain
Learning a foreign language improves the functionality of the mind by training it to identify and react to foreign environments in a better manner. It boosts your ability to negotiate other life problems as well. Researchers go on to suggest that those who have learned the ability to speak more than two or more languages are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not.
Knowledge of more than two languages also has a positive effect on the health of the human brain. A study conducted by York University on Alzheimer’s patients revealed startling facts. According to the study, “patients who were bilingual had a significant delay in the onset of disease compared to their monolingual counterparts.” Similar results were achieved during the study of effects of dementia.
Become more language smart
Infants who spend their childhood in bilingual families develop the astonishing ability to differentiate between languages that they have never heard before, let alone understand. The brain develops this wonderful ability just by getting exposed to different sounds. Learning different languages draws your attention to the fundamentals such as grammar, sentence structure, and conjugations. This makes you more aware of the language and the way it can be structured. These skills help you to be a better communicator and more language smart.
Increase your employability
It would be a blatant disregard of facts if one were to deny the benefits second language acquisition has towards the employability aspect of an individual. If you are looking to go for a multinational company, where relocation or expansion to other markets is an imminent possibility then learning new language becomes a potent weapon. For example, in economic downtime such as those witnessed a few years back, companies downsize or relocate employees to other locations. In such a situation candidates having knowledge of foreign language earn certain immunity towards pink slips and help them in job search process. In an increasing trend, we are witnessing a number of new jobs in India that require professionals to have the knowledge of an additional language, other than Hindi and English.
There are employers who are willing to pay you extra in return for your skills with a foreign language. Some even pay to get you trained for learning a second language. Especially companies having operations in the Middle East, Spain and France are willing to compensate their employees with extra payments in return for their skills
Where to start?
The best time to learn a second language is when you are still a kid. That’s when your raw brain is at its best in grasping the concepts and grammar of a new language. Scientists also back this fact that as a person matures; his ability to learn a new language also decreases sharply. If you are in college then enrolling for a language course is a good idea. While learning a new language is itself a taxing task, German language learning, French or Norwegian are some of the toughest and hence are not advised for beginners. However, with efforts and dedication, no goal is too far.
Saurabh Tyagi is a blogger and a professional career author with proven expertise in writing for topics related to jobs, job trends, different job opportunities, various workplace and industry information, tips and strategies for job seekers. You can follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.