The benefits of learning a second language include numerous benefits such as brain growth, postpone dementia, stimulate memory, improve care and many more… We bring you some of them. Read article

Formerly, It used to be thought that learning two languages created confusion in the mind. Even, it was thought, that if he had managed to learn a language, there was no need to bother learning another. An even more extreme and absurd view, was that learning a second language could cause a kind of schizophrenia or dual personality.

Some studies seemed to support the idea that learning two languages ​​could be problematic, especially in children. Early researchers found that bilinguals tended to have smaller vocabularies and slower access to words. However, today much more is known about learning other languages, giving way to a new perspective.

"Have another language

is to own

a second soul. ”


Advantages of learning another language

Today the attitude and disposition that one has towards learning new languages ​​is completely different. Knowing a new language allows us, in addition to communicating with more people, get to know that culture more closely, how they think. Y, What is better, brings a series of social benefits, psychological and cognitive.

1. Optimize the brain

When learning a second language, language centers in the brain grow, being one of its main benefits. A) Yes, the more you learn, more brain areas grow. In this sense, the researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona, Albert Costa, he has dedicated himself to studying it.

2. Delays dementia

More and more academics and experts on the subject consider that bilingualism increase our cognitive reserve capacity. This “warehouse” that the brain has is formed by all the stimulating experiences that we have developed in our life. For example, studying, playing musical instruments, reading, or learning new languages.

A) Yes, numerous investigations have linked bilingualism with cognitive reserve and, therefore, have seen what is associated with a delay in the onset of Alzheimer's disease up to five years. Equally, the higher is this cognitive reserve capacity, greater delay also occurs in the appearance of cognitive deterioration produced by aging.

3. Hear better

Being bilingual can lead to improvement of listening skills. It can be incredible, but this is because the brain learns to better discriminate sounds, in order to differentiate phonemes in both languages. A) Yes, the level of precision is such that bilingual people are able to distinguish exactly two different noises.

4. Be more sensitive to learning more languages

Learning a second language not only provides the benefits associated with that learning, it also makes it easier to learn more language. So the babies raised in bilingual homes, they can distinguish languages ​​they haven't even heard before. Thus, the greater ease of discrimination of sounds will make it easier to learn new pronunciations and to cope with the new language faster.

A) Yes, for example, only exposure to the different sounds in Spanish and Catalan, helps them tell the difference between English and French.

5. Memory expansion

Speaking more than one language means that the person you have to have a good ability to handle various sources of information when performing a task. This is the working memory, the one in charge of temporarily storing information in order to process it. It is essential in many tasks. For example, mental math, relate concepts, and even to interact with people.

6. Improved cognition

In addition to the aforementioned and in relation to it, bilinguals have been found to have better ability to switch from one task to another more quickly. This is called cognitive flexibility, and it allows these people to more easily adapt to unexpected circumstances..

Related to working memory, multitasking and attention lies cognitive control, which has also been seen higher in bilingual people. Apparently, This could be given by the need to monitor both languages ​​in order to consider which one is more appropriate in each situation..

7. Improves attention

Bilingualism too greater control over attention has been linked, being better able to limit distractions. Albert Costa, again, affirms that “bilingualism influences the attention capacity. Being used to changing languages ​​improves the ability to concentrate when doing a task ".

8. New insights

To learn a new language may, literally, change the way you see the world. Every language, and therefore each culture, has peculiarities in its vocabulary. A) Yes, there are words that exist in one language and not in another, but this does not mean that this concept or object does not exist in both. Simply, turned out to be more relevant to a certain culture. A) Yes, learning a new language can change the perception of the environment and the sensitivity towards certain aspects.

9. Improve communication

Learning a second language, increases our attention to the rules and structure of abstract language, what can make you better in your mother tongue. Namely, more attention is paid to one's own language, I feel more aware of the nuances and meanings that a sentence can have.

Therefore, it also improves verbal and non-verbal communication. Learn new intonations and pronunciations, for example, increases the repertoire and makes it easy to move freely through all possible expressions, as necessary. A) Yes, this can be a long-term advantage in everyday life, improving the ability to relate to other people.

10. Encourage critical thinking

Thinking about how others think and express themselves makes, on the one hand, that we reflect on how we think and express ourselves and thus, be self-critical. Secondly, think about how other people construct their speech, how they tune and what they give importance to when they speak it is a powerful tool to be able to understand points of view other than one's own.

As Geoffrey Willans said “You can never understand a language until you understand at least two.