Prior to our days, it was believed that if a child would live in a house with bilingual speakers, it might affect his brain activity. Now, parents are trying to make their children learn as many languages as possible. Is it worth learning a new language since we have so many tools that can help with translation? Why should we learn a foreign language if everybody already knows English? Learning a new language has lots of benefits for our brain. For instance, scientists discovered that it can help to build a strong memory, reduce the risk of brain aging, and prevent Alzheimer’s. Let’s analyze the benefits of learning a foreign language.
Sharpen your mind
When learning a foreign language, our memory improves, and our attention span increases. Because everything is new, our brain is exercising its problem-solving skills. When a bilingual person has to decide which word or translations matches the language, the brain already knows how to filter information and what to choose. Therefore, a bilingual person would have better concentration skills. Studies have found that students who are bilingual tend to have better scores than students who are monolingual.
Improve native language
A foreign language can also improve the vocabulary used in your native language since you are always in contact with the language mechanisms. Because our brain is trying to understand different words and phrases, it is also trying to look for synonyms in our native language in order to memorize faster.
This can also help our brain multitask because it has the habit of working simultaneously. Since the brain is used to switch between languages, doing two things at a time would not represent an impediment. The Language Mall reported the following: “A study by the NIH discovered that because bilinguals have better working memories, can focus their attention, and can disregard distractions, they are able to switch between tasks quickly and easily (just as they are able to switch between languages).”
A study conducted by The University of Chicago shows that people who know a second language are making better decisions. They came to the conclusion that people who can understand a second language are able to see the rational side. Meanwhile, the ones who know only a single language tend to make decisions based on emotions.