In terms of our health, studies have shown that learning a second language vastly improves our memory skills and even forms or strengthens pathways in our brain to help us complete an array of tasks. When you’re learning a second language, you not only expand your memory with new vocabulary and grammatical rules, but you also learn to see connections and form patterns, which can help you to complete other chores in your daily life. Additionally, scientists now believe that there is an even better incentive to learn: bilingual speakers are significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia, thanks to the way it strengthens your brain. Scientists believe that bilingualism delays the onset of these conditions by up to 4½ years.
Learning a second language can be extremely beneficial for both our health and our social life. Let’s take a look to them:
Creativity is one of the many personal traits that this skill hones, as studies have also shown that bilingual people are more creative than monolingual people. Again, this is thanks to the pattern-forming skill that comes under learning a second language, because learning grammar forces you to notice connections. Independent learning allows you to figure things out for yourself, something which establishes and enhances your proficiency with this skill. Furthermore, you may be forced to experiment with language when practicing, and utter phrases that you have not previously seen nor heard before, displaying creativity.
Another trait that you may acquire or build upon is self-confidence. Not only is the process of learning a great way to reinforce a can-do attitude (solidified by a sense of achievement), but it’s an amazing way to push yourself into a more social setting; learning a second language is the ideal tool to connect with new people. Spanish, for example, is the second most spoken language in the world, with approximately 437million people worldwide that speak it natively. Learning Spanish would put you at a great communication advantage; think of all the places you could travel ‒is the primary language for 20 countries‒ and all the people you could meet with that knowledge. This kind of skill can open an infinite number of doors in life that lead to an infinite number of events and freedoms. Speaking only one language is a wasted opportunity. Even the learning process is a great way to meet people, because you meet teachers, other learners, and eventually native speakers. It’s a great way to make a social connection.
Multiple languages look very good on a résumé, since today many businesses work internationally and are keen to employ people with this skill. Having bilingualism as a talent under your belt shows that you are a good communicator and have people skills, which encourages employers to hire you. Additionally, it shows motivation and a drive to learn, especially if you mention that you began your learning as an adult. If nothing else, learning popular languages that are spoken by lots of people makes you an incredible candidate and greatly increases your job prospects.
Knowledge of another language can also help to improve your English skills. Once you start to gain a larger vocabulary in your second language, you might notice connections between the two, or you might even pay a thought to the rules and quirks of your native language. People rarely stop to consider the structure of the language we speak, because we learn it so naturally as a child, but once you actually start think about it, you can better piece together sentences and learn a lot more than just foreign words. A well-spoken manner is another pleasant attribute that you can improve through this skill, making you a more amiable and admirable person.
It may be initially surprising, but you discover the culture of a place almost simultaneously as you learn the language. A language’s roots lie in the culture, after all, and in general you will learn words that are more relevant to things you would encounter in that country. And if you have a good teacher, you might be lucky enough to learn a little extra. Perhaps when you feel confident enough regarding your fluency level, you might venture to the country yourself, and then you can truly learn the culture there. Deborah Cater said, “You have to taste a culture to understand it,” and learning the language may be a gateway to this understanding. Opening yourself to new cultures and broadening the mind and spirit in this way is almost certainly one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life.
There are even new books, music and TV shows that you can enjoy once you start to understand the language. Think about all the things you enjoy doing in English, and double that number. Once the culture opens itself to you, you can begin to explore and integrate yourself further. In fact, these pop culture icons can even be a useful learning tool if you use subtitles or translation tools, which goes to show that learning can be equally as fun as it is challenging.
And these are just a few of the numerous benefits to learning a second language like Spanish, so don’t hesitate to start your learning journey now.