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6 Reasons to learn a second language

Post Author Take1 / May 5th 2016

More and more industries are becoming global thanks to better internet connections and stronger communication links. From film and TV to manufacturing and retail, an increasing number of companies are choosing to establish head offices overseas in order to branch out into new and untapped markets. The globalisation of industries in this way is a positive thing, but it can sometimes lead to miscommunication as companies struggle to communicate with new customers and potential new business partners. Learning to speak the language of the country into which your business is expanding can make things a lot easier for you, but that’s not the only benefit to learning a second language.

Here are some of the key reasons why you should consider becoming bilingual or polylingual…

  • Employers love it: industries are becoming increasingly global, so employers are always on the lookout for employees that can help them to bridge that language gap. Being fluent in a second language is likely to give you the edge over other candidates. Even if the role doesn’t require you to speak that language, simply knowing a second or third language tells a potential employer a few things about you.
  • Bilingualism helps you to multitask: Those who speak more than one language are proficient at slipping from one language system to another, which is very demanding for the brain. People who have developed the ability to do this are typically better at switching between other tasks too, meaning that they can multitask with ease. Studies have found that bilingual people commit minimal errors when juggling various activities.
  • It improves your memory: Learning a second language involves memorising and storing a completely new language system. The vocabulary and grammar are learnt and stored and are able to be recalled as and when necessary, which strengthens your overall ability to retain and recall other types of information from your memory.
  • It improves your first language: Learning a second language can help to improve your mother tongue. You’ll be going back to basics and learning about the grammatical structure of language, and this newfound linguistic awareness will help to strengthen your understanding and use of your first language. This will enable you to become a better writer, speaker, and communicator in your mother tongue as well as your second language.
  • It delays the onset of dementia: Acquiring and using a second language helps to keep your brain active and can contribute to delaying the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Learning a new language helps to sharpen your mind and keep it sharper for longer, thus helping to prevent the degeneration of brain cells and slow the onset of dementia.
  • It broadens your understanding of the world: Of course, learning a second language will aid you in travelling to countries that speak that language. Not only that, understanding the language will give you a unique insight into a different culture and allow you to learn more about different customs and ways of life.

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