First things first, let's make sure we clarify this "sensationalist" article title. We are not going to say that learning a foreign language will unlock some kind of superhuman ability in you, nor will it magically double your IQ. Having said that, a mountain of research has clearly shown there are cognitive benefits to learning a language. Learning a second language will make you more intelligent.
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🤔 #1 Cognitive Intelligence
This is perhaps the most tangible benefit to those who are still in school or university. Learning a second language has been consistently been shown to boost cognitive abilities and improve student performance in standardized tests.
If your mind is a muscle, then language learning is an extremely good cardio and weightlifting workout. It forces you to make fast comparisons, quick transfers of information, instant recalls of copious amounts of detail to maintain accuracy and fluency --- the list goes on.
🙃 #2 Emotional Intelligence
When you become proficient in another language, you also gain invaluable insight into other cultures. This may be done knowingly or not, but you get the same result. Understanding something from another’s point of view is the very cornerstone of empathy. Language is among the most intimate cultural tools we possess, so learning a second or third language gives you a short-cut into those other perspectives.
🚶 #3 Practical Everyday Intelligence
If you’re learning a language already, you’ll know that it’s a constant juggling act keeping everything straight in your head. Completing a test in a second language involves simultaneously thinking about things in your native tongue, and executing those thoughts in a second, alien language. See the similarity? It’s multi-tasking!
In short, your learning of a foreign language will quickly spill over into other practical parts of your life, helping you work and live more effectively as you exercise your multi-tasking and other skills.
👵 #4 Logical Faculties
As you strive to succeed in your second-language studies, you are passively exercising your brain in the art of logical decision making and critical thought. You may think nothing of knowing that you should use the verb “savoir” rather than “connaître” in French; knowing to use “lend” instead of “borrow” in English, but getting to the right word involves making a snap-analysis and reaching a decision.
Just as with practical intelligence, these logical skills slosh over into other areas of your life. You’ll find you are better at making logical decisions; at thinking things through carefully before pursuing the right option.
📈 A benefit, no matter how you look at it
Besides boosting your various forms of intelligence, learning a second language can do wonders for your brain in myriad ways.
Researchers like cognitive neuroscientist Ellen Bialystok have worked to show that while it won’t definitively prevent disorders like Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can still help keep your brain healthy for longer. It’s a ticket for more time, according to Bialystok, and it goes to show how far-reaching the impacts can be.
Give yourself a boost by contacting us and setting up your first language lesson!
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