As many of us are currently stuck inside or under a strict curfew, it is the perfect time to start learning a foreign language. Learning a new language isn’t as daunting as you might think, and it certainly does not need to be dull and boring; in fact, it can be quite the opposite.
As you set about planning your new stay at home routine, take a moment and read why learning a new language is an awesome idea!
Here are my top five life-changing reasons why you should learn a foreign language while staying at home.
1. There are many cognitive benefits to learning foreign languages.
The results of research conducted around the world revealed that learning a foreign language can actually benefit your brain. Learning a foreign language will help to improve the functionality of your brain and may also improve people’s thinking skills and memory abilities.
Dr Thomas Bak, a lecturer at Edinburgh’s school of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences recently completed a study which revealed that young adults who were able to speak two languages performed better on attention tests and had better concentration than the young adults who spoke only one language. You can read more about the study here.
2. Learning Languages can increase your level of employability
In a world that is becoming more and more globalised, companies are looking to expand their businesses overseas. Students are travelling abroad to meet the need and learn these languages. With this growing demand, there is a need for people who will be able to speak a foreign language.
In 2011, Newcastle University published research revealing that people who can speak multiple languages have a greater capacity to understand people from a wider variety of backgrounds. In 2012 a similar result was found from Chicago University, who noted that learning a foreign language reduces decision bias.
3. You are likely to make many new friends through learning a foreign language.
When I first decided that I wanted to learn Arabic, my arabic speaking friends were very eager to help me and teach me new words and idioms. Had it not been for their enthusiasm and support I would have given up learning Arabic a long time ago.
Since then I have made friends from Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Morrocco, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and beyond. A foreign language has provided me with many opportunities to sit and chat with people, to engage in discussions and to learn more about the world from a different perspective. This gift is likely to open many doors to many new friendships.
4. Learning a Language can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Another key advantage of learning a language is its ability to reduce the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Results from several studies concluded that adults who speak two or more languages are more likely to develop dementia symptoms an average of five years later than people who only speak one language.
5. Learning a language is a lot of fun and will help to boost your confidence.
Learning Arabic was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. For a long time I believed that I would not be able to learn a foreign language. I had half attempted to learn Mandarin in the past as an A-Level incentive to appear more employable, but I failed miserably. Learning Arabic taught me the importance of not giving up which was a skill that I would need in the future through University and later in life.
The language learning process was fun and very rewarding, but the process also brought with it many challenges. I cannot begin to tell you the ammount of times that I said or pronounced a word wrong or stumbled in a conversation when trying to remember what to say. These mistakes only made me more determined to keep going and continue trying. Within a short ammount of time I recieved positive feedback from native speakers and it became easier to speak without fear.
I have mentioned five benefits of learning a foreign language, however there are many additional benefits of learning a foreign language. I really hope that what I have shared in this article will encourage you on your language learning journey. I have never regretted learning a foreign language and I don’t think that I ever will regret this choice.
It does not matter how quickly you achieve language proficiency, the most important thing is that you enjoy the process and the experience of learning a language. The greatest piece of advice that I can give you is to choose a language that you enjoy and that you are interested in, that way you will be more likely and excited to commit time and effort to learning a new language.
I hope you enjoy learning a new foreign language and I would love to hear more about your language learning journey.