I’m often surprised at my students who have been learning English for long-periods of time, sometimes even decades. But it’s not because their English skills are low, it’s because they want to maintain a certain level of proficiency and they enjoy the benefits. And as many of you know, it’s very easy to forget a language when you’re no longer using it.
Of course, improving your language skills helps you to expand your horizons in different aspects, from traveling to job opportunities. And it isn’t a surprise that the English language is flooding so many different countries. Once you are able to communicate in English well, you are virtually able to travel anywhere with no difficulties. Moreover, it makes you a more valuable professional, while unlocking different aspects of your brain and strengthening your cognitive abilities.
Now, for those thinking of learning a new language, like English or Spanish, here are the top 3 surprising benefits.
It helps you improve your memory
I have to admit, this first point is probably not really a surprise, but nonetheless it’s a good reminder why everyone should strive to learn another language, like English. There is an abundant amount of evidence that learning another language helps you boost your memory by learning new vocabulary, improving your concentration skills and actually teaching you a thing or two about body language. One of my favorite examples was when I was living in Poland. In that beautiful country with an awfully difficult language, I had to heavily rely on body language. In Poland “no” means yes. So when I heard people say “no oczywiście”, I realized that it wasn’t something negative but rather positive. Finally, once I started taking Polish classes, I learned that it actually means “of course!”
Makes you a better communicator
It comes to no surprise that people who speak several languages are also great communicators. And it’s not because they were born that way! It’s actually because they learned so many different languages, which makes their vocabulary extremely rich, which then trickles down to their communication skills. Not only that, but when you learn another language you become more aware of the idiosyncrasies of those different languages, for example, English. You learn different grammar by which you also learn your own native language, which in result, makes you understand and communicate International English better.
It decreases the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia
This should be the sole reason why people should learn another language alone. Several studies have been consistent with the conclusion that knowing more than one language decreases the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. According to studies, monolingual adults start seeing symptoms of dementia at the age of 71, whereas adults who speak two or more languages start seeing those first signs at the age of 75.5.
Although you may be getting older and you may think, “I’m too old”, it’s actually never too late to start seeing these benefits! Learning a new language keeps your brain active while also helping you appreciate different cultures too. So if you’re looking to learn English or Spanish, contact us!