The Cognitive Benefits to Learning A Second Language

You may be learning a new language for a variety of practical reasons – to improve your career opportunities, to prepare for a much anticipated trip, or simply to fulfill a credit requirement toward earning your diploma. But did you know that that learning a second language will actually make your brain stronger as well? Learning a second language is one of the best ways to sharpen your mind, increase your overall intelligence, and combat some of the effects of aging.

Regardless of your age or educational background, learning a new language, such as Spanish, with tutor can give your brain a boost. Here are four cognitive benefits to learning another language:

The Cognitive Benefits

#1. Improves cognitive skills & brain function

Numerous research has been done on the impact of learning and speaking multiple languages. And people who speak two or more languages have been proven to have better cognitive abilities than those who speak only one language. People who speak at least two or more languages are more likely to have higher intelligence, better decision-making skills, to be more open-minded to the views of other people, be more creative, and have better memory.

#2. Increase brain size and connectivity

Learning a second language has been shown to increase the area of the brain that stores and retrieves memories. It has also been shown to increase the size of the brain’s language center. Learning a new language also boosts the number of neural pathways between different parts of the brain.

The Cognitive Benefits
The Cognitive Benefits

#3.Bilingual homes are a huge benefit to children

At one point it was believed that when children learned multiple languages it could stunt their educational growth and cause delays. We now know that the opposite is actually true.

Growing up in a bilingual home has been shown to have numerous benefits in children as well. Multiple studies have shown that bilingual children perform better academically, do better on standardized tests, have higher self-esteem, and experience better cognitive function overall.

#4. Combats the effects of aging

Knowing two or more languages can offset the effects of Alzheimer’s or dementia by more than four years. Even the best Alzheimer’s drugs can only offset symptoms for roughly six months to a year.

Brains scans have shown that bilingual seniors have a noticeable difference in brain activity. And these results have been shown to be consistent regardless of the senior’s previous educational experience.

The Cognitive Benefits

Regardless of your age, learning a second language offers big cognitive benefits. It is also one of the hardest things you brain can do so most people are hesitant to even begin trying.

You may be struggling to learn a second language or you may just be on the fence as to whether or not you want to even put forth the effort to start. Keep in mind that this process is challenging for everyone but the lifelong benefits you will receive are well worth it. Many of the most rewarding experiences in life are also the most challenging.

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