When grown-ups ponder over the reasons why they should devote time and energy to imbibing foreign language skills, experts and teachers typically concentrate on various advantages that are most often practical or social; for instance, better employment opportunities, frequent and better raises at workplace, comprehending the already known world in a broader sense, more confidence when travelling to unexplored foreign shores and immersing in new cultures, meeting people from far-flung countries, using the social networks more efficiently, etc.
However, not much is talked about the most significant incentive that the activity of mastering a foreign language offers.
Recent studies have substantiated that communicating in multiple languages can keep the human brain healthy for extended periods and even improves its functioning. When a person makes several constructive attempts acquiring foreign language skills; that complicated cognitive process creates new neural connections and makes the existing ones stronger; the ones responsible for thought, memory, language, and consciousness; producing a host of benefits.
Keeps the brain sharp
Acquiring any language keeps the brain challenged and active. It alters the level of electrical activity and its size when a person is trying to master a new language. The so many advantages of learning a foreign language like English can be reaped at any age. However, one must remember to put an extra amount of effort to be conversant in such a complex language.
The origin of the queen’s language can be successfully traced back to German, French, and Latin. Hence, it will be comparatively easier for native speakers of these languages to master the art of English learning. On the contrary, native speakers from Japan could face more difficulties while taking lessons in this language, as the sounds its syllables will be mostly unfamiliar to them. Additionally, a language like English has several dialects spoken across the world. The case of aluminum can indeed be considered, to put things into perspective! There are many words like aluminum that can be found in this language, which are pronounced differently by native speakers of the USA and the UK. Hence, English is the first and most obvious choice for anyone toying with the idea of developing mental muscles.
Recent studies in the research past confirmed the superiority of bilingual brains over their monolingual cousins when it comes to focus and attention. The researchers found substantial evidence that seemingly proved the relation between improved concentration skills and the lifelong effort of switching languages.
The improved focus is the outcome of a two-pronged approach most likely. For successfully learning an entirely new language, an individual must pay attention to one’s studies and also the people that person is speaking to. In order to be a great English speaker, both the learning methods are called for. Notably, it is valid when traveling
Improves writing skills
One of the most effective methods to master a foreign language is to keep writing it; as the three Rs of human civilization are reading, writing, and arithmetic. And the more one writes, the more familiarity and exposure to a foreign that person will be getting. It immensely helps in building comprehension skills and eventually boosts the creativity of a learner.
Writing aids the process of acquiring the basics of a foreign language like English to a great extent in a formal learning environment like a classroom. Much like the early education days, when taking new language lessons as an adult learner, consistent and concrete effort will help to strengthen the vocabulary and the word usage of a language student. Gradually simple words will magically transform into complex, yet deeply meaningful phrases and one will never run out of the supply of all the descriptive words required to become a successful creative writer. Much like trying to learn to play a new musical instrument, a person will not understand the tool that individual wish to play, until one tries it out and for hours every day. The same holds true for English.
Helps to appreciate classic literature and movies in the native language
If the past few centuries are taken into account, a vast majority of the famous works created in the arena of literature and film around the world were done in English. While one can read translated literary works and watch sub-titled movies, they are often unable to reproduce the original flavor and mood of the parent products. These botched reproductions make it extremely tough to appreciate and enjoy some of the timeless creations of English-speaking artists ranging from Stephen King to Shakespeare. From Scorsese to Hitchcock, to genuinely admire a magnificent work of art it is in the best interest of the admirer to experience them in their native forms. Another major advantage one gets from studying English is the proper and thorough knowledge of popular culture. If someone has something to talk about some of the most watched movies ever made in the English-speaking world in the present time, that person instantly becomes socially relatable and integrable to millions of English-speaking peers globally, which in turns helps to make new friends and offer more speaking and learning opportunities.
Provides with immigration benefits
If someone does not speak English, that person is most likely to face lots of difficulties when immigrating to Anglophonic countries. In the USA, an alien must pass an examination taken in English, to be considered for citizenship. Furthermore; without a good grasp in the said language, the chances of finding any employment, let alone a suitable one; become exceptionally slim in the job markets of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
Additionally, inadequate or insufficient or any knowledge at all about this language prevents one from socially integrate into the vibrant lives of the aforementioned countries. From buying groceries at the supermarket, purchasing a ticket at the bus station, or filling up hospital forms; English is required at every single place and in every single instance in such nations where English is the only or one of the official languages. For some immigrants; some senior members of such families do not speak anything else except their arterial language, i.e., their first language. Such people should be exposed to English by those who already know it so that the older generation that chose to emigrate from foreign soil does not feel left alone and could socially integrate sooner and better.
Other Related Benefits
Learning a foreign language like English has many advantages and the most significant ones are summarized below.
Improves cognitive flexibility
Bilingual people possess the ability to adapt to unexpected or new circumstances faster in comparison with the monolinguals, as picking up new language skills strengthens their existing neural wirings and also create new ones in their brains, which improves their ability of information processing as well as concentration
Enhances memory and consciousness
Once an individual has come across words or structures that are never seen before, one has to memorize and apply them, which strengthens the memory and also increases the creativity of that person
Reduces the odds of Alzheimer’s and dementia
The underlying causes of complex diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s are yet to be known; nonetheless, medical studies have concluded that wading through the lessons of a language other than one’s mother-tongue, protects that person from the aforementioned mental disorders or at least decelerates their progression