By Geralde Vincent-Bancroft
Have you ever thought about learning a foreign language?
Perhaps you are an adult learner who has been considering brushing up on your high school French or Spanish, or maybe you’re wondering how to introduce a new language to your children.
As humans, we are constantly learning and growing. We learn from our experiences and the people around us, but one way to gain knowledge that lasts a lifetime is by learning a foreign language.
Use it or lose it?
The traditional belief has been that if you don’t use a language, you will lose it over time. However, a recent study that looked into the lasting effects of foreign language ability over time, did not support it.
The study tasted a group of 500 people who had taken French examinations 50 years prior. They wanted to see how much knowledge they still retained. Remarkably, the results indicated that there had been absolutely no decline in their language proficiency over the course of those five decades.
This groundbreaking discovery acts as a reminder that the skills we acquire through language lessons are embedded in us more deeply than previously believed. Our memory of foreign languages can stay with us for long periods of time even without reinforcement or use.
When you’re considering whether or not to invest your time in learning a new language, consider these benefits.
A foreign language Improves Your Cognitive Ability
Learning a new language helps increase your cognitive ability. You can strengthen skills like problem solving, memory retention, and the ability to process information quickly. This can be beneficial for adults who want to maintain healthy cognitive functions late in life.
People who are bilingual also tend to have better communication skills both verbally and written due to their increased understanding of different cultures and perspectives.
Developing an understanding of how different cultures interact can also help increase your empathy towards others. This is beneficial in many aspects of life such as personal relationships, professional relationships, and even politics.
Broadens Your Cultural Horizons
Learning a foreign language opens you up to new cultures that you may have been unaware of before. It allows you to start conversations with locals or those who are visiting from another country but do not speak English fluently.
You will be able to understand more about different cultures through jokes or stories that only native speakers would know about.
Whether it’s through reading books in the original language or traveling abroad, learning a foreign language can open doors for cultural exploration and appreciation.
Gives You More Career Opportunities
Speaking more than one language can help you stand out when applying for jobs since employers prioritize candidates with this skill set above those without it.
It can give you access to opportunities with international companies or those which deal with diverse customer bases across the world.
Even if your current job doesn’t require knowledge of any other languages, being able to communicate fluently in two languages is still an impressive skill set that employers recognize and appreciate when hiring candidates. This is true for certain positions such as customer service representatives or marketing professionals who need to communicate with customers in various countries around the world.
Expansion of Personal Interests
Learning another language makes it easier to access literature, films and music from other countries. These can be incredibly enriching experiences for those who take advantage of them.
With a new language you can explore regions where particular languages are spoken through travel which is always exciting!
Learning a foreign language might seem like an intimidating task at first. But it comes with many benefits such as increasing your cognitive ability, broadening your cultural horizons, and giving you more career opportunities than those who don’t know more than one language!
Thanks to the research from the University Of New York, we now know that knowledge acquired decades ago still remains intact today. This makes now the perfect time for adult learners everywhere to start investing in their future by picking up another language!
So what are you waiting for? Start studying today.
Try out some online courses today and get started on this incredible journey! Good luck!