We’re living in a connected world today, and that isn’t going to change anytime in the future. Why shouldn’t we want to speak more languages so that we can communicate with the people we can now reach?
Despite this, classes teaching foreign languages are becoming scarce.
If the schools don’t think learning another language is important, why should you bother?
Below are seven benefits of learning a second language that will change your mind.
1. Increase Your Job Prospects
It shouldn’t be surprising that companies looking for bilingual employees are at an all-time high. Global trade is higher than ever. By putting a second language in your resume, you’re setting yourself apart from the other people applying for your job.
In fact, between the years 2010 and 2015, the demand for bilingual workers more than doubled in the United States.
This increase is happening for two reasons.
The first is the expansion into other markets. Companies need to hire people who can communicate with customers in other countries. It’s hard to sell to someone when you can speak to them.
The second is to talk with manufacturers overseas. Much of the manufacturing base has moved to other countries. It’s easier to handle things when you can speak the language.
2. Speak the Language of the Locals
Do you love traveling? You aren’t alone.
Spending time out of the country in new and strange locations is both fun and enriching. But what happens when you don’t speak the language?
You can likely get by if you stick with the regular tourist spots. Many tourist locations cater to English speakers.
But if you want to get out of the tourist traps and experience the local culture, you’re going to have an easier time if you can speak the local language.
You don’t have to be fluent to do this. You only need to be able to communicate. When you do this, you can experience parts of a country that you may not have been able to if you only spoke one language.
There are plenty of ways to do this with online courses. Online courses will allow you to practice your Spanish skills on your own time so you can be ready for your trip.
3. Delay Dementia
Have you ever heard the saying, you use it or lose it?
That applies to your brain and memory. While you may not completely remove the chance of getting dementia, learning a second language can help reduce your chance or delay its onset.
A study done at Edinburgh University found that bilingual individuals were able to delay the onset of dementia for up to five years.
This finding is consistent with other memory studies that have found that exercising and using your brain is useful for preventing memory problems when you’re older. The more you use your mind during your life, the fewer problems you’ll have when you’re older.
4. Improved Memory
Have you ever heard of working memory? It’s the process your brain goes through when it processes and stores information during a short period.
A study done by the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology found that bilingual children had a better working memory than those who only spoke one language.
It doesn’t matter what part of your life you’re trying to improve. Having a better working memory can help.
You can better remember phone numbers, grocery lists, names, birthdays, and anything else you can think of.
5. Improve Your First Language
You might think that learning a second language will make your grasp of your first language worse, but the opposite is true. It can help.
When you are learning a second language, you’re doing a lot of grammar review with your first language. There are a lot of little things you need to watch out for.
As you go through this process, you can use what you learn to develop your original language grammar skills.
These improvements can help you become a better writer, speaker, and all-around communicator.
6. Appreciate Other Cultures
We spend a lot of our time in our own bubbles. It’s hard to know how other cultures function when you have no exposure to them.
When you learn a second language, you are getting a crash course in how another culture communicates.
You won’t only learn about how they communicate either. You get to learn about new ideas and ways to communicate that you wouldn’t know otherwise.
The exposure to this can help expand your perspective and give you a deeper appreciation of other cultures. It’s harder to look down on other people when you spend so much time learning about them.
7. Get Better at Multitasking
Speaking another language is a lot of work when you’re first getting started.
You think in your first language. When you’re speaking to someone speaking differently, there are a lot of back-and-forths your mind has to do to translate things.
Switching between languages helps your task-switching ability. You can use this ability in other areas of your life.
This process helps because it teaches your mind to switch between different structures. A study done by NIH confirmed this. They found that bilingual children were more quickly able to switch tasks.
There Are Many Benefits of Learning a Second Language
It doesn’t matter if you are learning a new language to help your mind or to help you in your travels. You will see all the benefits of learning a second language when you decide to take the plunge.
It’s also more accessible than ever to get started. Instead of taking the time to attend a local class, sign up for an online program, and learn in your free time.
If you are looking for other tips that can improve your home life, head over to our article section to find our latest posts.