Benefits Of Learning A Second Language

4 Cognitive Benefits Of Learning A Second Language

It’s no surprise that learning a second language reaps numerous benefits. While you can communicate with more people, it also boosts your cognitive process. The attributes are seen in people who regularly speak multiple languages. Bilingualism is best achieved in childhood. But, adults learning a second language can also achieve fluency and get the same mental benefits.

Besides job promotions and class credit, here are four cognitive benefits you may not have known.

Tip: The U-Dictionary App provides translations in 39 different languages.

You Develop The Ability To Listen

What does this mean? Sometimes we don’t think about what we say when speaking in our native tongue. But, when learning a new language, we put on our brakes and listen to what is being said. Our ears and minds work harder to not only understand what we’ve heard but also a response. This is called active listening, a skill highlighted in a blog post by Andrew Barr. Active listening is much more efficient in strengthening your language listening skills.

Tip: Start improving your listening skills with audio articles within our app. It’s updated daily with content to test if you can catch specific words.

Enhance Your Multitasking Ability

Studies have proven that learning a second language can strengthen your multitasking ability. How? When a bilingual person hears a word or sentence, the brain works between the two language systems to figure out what is being said, put it into context, and how to respond. This is called “executive thinking”, a process that governs multitasking.

Develop A Better Understanding Of Your Language

Learning a new language–especially one from a different culture–gives you a better understanding of your culture. For example, the communication pattern in Japanese is much more indirect than English. This gives you a comparison of the cultural differences between the east and west.

Tip: Our Writing Club and Selected Articles within our app will touch upon cultural differences.

Improve Your Creativity

Language improves your creativity by giving you more ways to describe situations. For example, in Japanese, describing fresh air translates to “the air is delicious” in English. In English, we say “the air is so fresh.” Depending on the language, different phrases will require you to think how to say them in a different way.

Endless Benefits To Language Learning

There are numerous benefits to learning a second language. While it can be difficult as you get older, the benefits outweigh the cost. Regardless of whether you’re learning for fun, to get a better job, or getting class credit, learning a second language will help you in all aspects of your life.

How To: Stay Motivated In Language Learning

Language Learning Motivation

In the early stages, it’s easy to get fired up on learning a second language. But then it slowly begins to fade and it becomes a downward spiral. Eventually, it becomes a tedious chore. So, how can you stay motivated in language learning?

What’s Your Goal?

To achieve anything you’re learning, it’s important to know what your ultimate goal is. Regards to language learning, is it to get a job or promotion? To become fluent? To learn about another culture? Knowing your end goal can help you be more focused. However, did you know that the end goal of building and maintaining relationships is more effective than achieving a job or promotion?

Cross-Cultural Relationships

According to The Telegraph, “learners who study a language with the aim of better understanding a culture, language, and society are integratively more motivated.” In other words, language learning is the bridge between building effective relationships romantic or not. Language learning can also be a gesture of respect.

 

language learning relationshipFamily members who have roots in different cultures also serve as good motivation as it’s personally meaningful to them. In addition, if you have a positive attitude toward your target culture, you will be better at picking up their intonation and pronunciation. This also results in more communication with locals to facilitate your language learning capabilities.

Personal Accomplishment

Personal accomplishments include getting a job or promotion. It includes academic achievement as well. For example, students learning a second language may have an interest in the language or culture beforehand. However, their target goal is to obtain their academic credit and move forward in school. Students and professionals are often motivated to learn a second language to further their career or believe that a second language will benefit them in the long run. Learning a second language is a stepping stone in achieving their personal accomplishments.

language learning accomplishment

The goal of personal accomplishments is just as important as forming cross-cultural relationships. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you have a negative outlook on the culture of the language you’re learning, it will be difficult for you to grasp pronunciation and intonation even if your salary looks more pleasing.

Did You Know?

Did you know that British teenagers are the worst in Europe in languages? According to a study done by The Telegraph, they tested fourteen British teenagers to speak French, the first foreign language taught in schools. Besides understanding basic phrases and words, many were unable to grasp more complex vocabulary and sentences. The reason may be due to English being a predominant language.

Learning a second language at a young age is better if you want to achieve fluency. As you’re more likely to absorb information, language learning becomes easier. It also helps if you have a family member who speaks the language well and communicates with you on a daily basis in that language. The older you get, the more difficult it is to grasp a new language.

Need Some Fun Motivation?

Did you know that U-Dictionary’s APP provides fun and engaging daily learning for English learners? We have games, English phrases, words, and videos to help you get a better grasp of English faster than reading textbooks and doing boring quizzes and worksheets!