Advantages of learning a new language
We live in a faced-paced world and we want everything right now. This doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.
So how do you keep up?
You need to develop some special advantages to get a boost, help yourself stand out and survive in this crazy, modern world.
As our world becomes increasingly connected through technological advances, it is becoming obvious that learning another language is beneficial for many reasons.
Here are just a few of the many positive side effects of learning a new language.
- Meet new people
This is one of the phenomenal benefits. Doors are opened to you around the world. If you are learning in a group setting, you immediately have new friends with whom you can share your new language. If this is not the case, once you go somewhere and are actually able to use what you have learned, you will be surprised how open people are when you speak their mother tongue.
- Employers love it (and they will love you more)
If you include in your resume that you are fluent in a second language, your chances of employment in today’s economy are much greater (especially compared to those who only speak one languages).
Multilingual people can communicate and interact within multiple communities. Potential employers consider this a valuable asset in an employee’s set of skills, as they’re able to connect with a broader range of people. In this new age of start-ups, companies are increasingly breaking into new markets. Your personal and professional value increases if you’re able to negotiate with manufacturers in another country or communicate with customers who don’t speak your native language.
Not to mention, your ability to speak a second language conveys that you’re motivated and driven to learn new skills.
- More than one language is becoming essential
Many would argue that knowing another language has become a necessary and essential skill for anyone who wants to keep up with today’s rapidly increasing global economy. As more and more people recognize the importance of learning an additional language, those who only speak one language will begin to get left behind in our shift towards a more integrated and connected global society.
- Travel, travel, travel
Knowing more than one language opens up your vacation destination possibilities. “The limits of your language are the limits of your world,” said Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Traveling through a foreign country becomes much easier if you can speak the language of that country. Fluency isn’t required. Locals anywhere appreciate that you’ve taken the time to at least attempt to learn and communicate in their tongue. It shows a greater level of respect and is an easy way to meet new people.
- After learning a new language, it is easier to learn another
As you begin to learn a new language, you’ll find that the acquisition techniques you’re using can be applied to learning additional languages as well.
The positive cognitive effects of learning to speak a new 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.
You’re increasing your ability to replicate the process with multiple languages. This is called “metalinguistic awareness,” where your brain learns to identify the techniques of learning a language and breaks them down into a series of steps. After learning one language, you retain the muscle memory. Your brain will intrinsically understand how to learn a language and how different languages are structured, through increased awareness of syntax, grammar and sentence structure.
- You become smarter
Acquiring a new language improves your memory and increases your attention span. The process of learning this new language exercises your brain, challenges you to concentrate and boosts your problem solving skills.
As you learn to toggle from one language to another, you improve your multitasking abilities. Bilingual individuals have also been shown to be more logical and rational, have better decision-making skills and be more perceptive and aware of their surroundings.
Learning another language also improves your native language, as it teaches you the mechanics and structure behind any language — not just new languages.
- You’ll stay smarter for longer
Recent research has shown that knowing another language can stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia by years.
Results from a study carried out by the American Academy of Neurology show that speaking more than one language increases the amount of neural pathways in the brain, which allows information to be processed through a greater variety of channels. They’ve also begun to demonstrate that multilingualism improves development in the brain’s areas of executive function and attention, no matter what age the language learner is.
- It boosts your creativity
Researchers also conclude that multilingual speakers are more creative than monolingual speakers. Learning a foreign language improves not only your ability to solve problems and to think more logically, it also makes you experiment with new words and phrases.
Leveling up your second language skills forces you to reach for alternate words when you can’t quite remember the original one you wanted to use. It improves your skills in divergent thinking, which is the ability to identify multiple solutions to a single problem.
- A boost in your self-confidence
You’re about to teach yourself to believe, “yes, I can.” It’ll become your new personal mantra.
Confidence increases when a new skill is mastered, and learning a foreign language is no different. It increases your self-confidence. And let’s face it: confident people are more interesting than those who are unsure of themselves. The techniques you use to develop a new language result in a greater sense of open-mindedness.
In order to master a new language, conversations with native and fluent speakers are essential. If you’re shy but want to meet new people, using the excuse that you want to practice your speaking skills is a great opener and a doorway to making new friends, expanding your horizons and broadening your life experiences. Plus, who doesn’t want to be more interesting?
So, how do I get started?
Fortunately, gone are the days where the only way to learn a new language was to either become stranded in a foreign country or go back to school and take language classes. Today, there are many different types of courses that will help you become proficient in the language of your choice:
- Classroom courses (private or in groups)
- Telephone courses
- Online courses
Just keep in mind the old saying, “you get what you pay for”. Paying for learning a new language is an investment.
ELC Professionnal Center stands out amongst language learning centers and schools thanks to the huge range of learning opportunities it provides. Give them a shout and check out what they offer.
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