The benefits of learning a language

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

At Highland, students must take two years worth of language credits. And many like to continue on for all four years.

But why should we be learning a second language? Just for fun? Or are there actual benefits besides being able to say you’re bilingual?

With that in mind, here are 6 benefits to learning a new language: 

  1. Improve Memory 

An experiment in the ‘Journal of Experimental Child Psychology’ found that learning another language improves your working memory. Learning a language takes effort from your brain, since you have to memorize a lot of new words and different pronunciations. This helps you get better at recalling information such as words, names, and facts. 

  1. Confidence in decision making

According to a research article in ‘Sage Journals’, if you think in a different language helps you make decisions because it reduces biases. This leads to less overthinking, making you able to make more decisions with confidence. 

  1. Helps improve your primary language 

When you learn a new language you’re introduced to more of the basics and specifics that languages are made up of — grammar, different tenses, and more that you don’t usually overthink since you’ve been talking for just about forever in your first language! This makes you more aware of these things in your primary language which decreases the chance of making mistakes. 

  1. Strengthens your mind 

Learning a new language is a great way to keep your brain working and growing! An article on Neurology.org states that learning a new language can reduce or delay Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and dementia. The brain keeps getting stronger because of the new neural pathways that are created as a result of learning a new language. 

  1. Improve focus and attention 

When you learn a new language you tend to get good at switching from your primary language and the one you’re learning. This improves your ability to refocus, as well as focus on switching between tasks. 

  1. Opens more opportunities

Knowing more than one language can open new doors for you. It can be a way to beef up your resume, making you a more unique candidate for a job. It can also open up a different place to travel to, to study abroad in, or to live! A new language can also lead to new relationships with other people because of a similar goal or ability. 

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