Always secretly dreamed of learning a second language but fear you’ve left it too late to give it a try?
Now might be the perfect opportunity to cast away your doubts, reassess, and delve into the unknown by taking on the challenge of learning a new language.
Research increasingly suggests learning a second language can have a huge impact on brain power, even if you only start learning later in life. Indeed, a fascinating decades-long study from the University of Edinburgh*, completed in 2014, dramatically revealed the positive impact acquiring a second language can have on the brain, at all stages in life.
Researchers examined the results of standardised intelligence tests taken by a group at age 11, and compared them with results of similar tests taken when group members reached the age of 73.
Participants in the study were tested on a number of physical and mental functions as they grew older, including changes in reasoning, memory, speed of thinking, as well as health and fitness.
Results from the lifetime study showed that those who spoke two or more languages had significantly improved cognitive skills in later life compared with what would be predicted from their IQ results in childhood. This trend even applied if the second language was acquired later in adulthood.
Here are just some of the cognitive advantages that various academic studies agree can arise from learning a second language:
- You become a better problem solver…
- You develop better memory skills
- You become a better decision maker….
- You become better at multitasking….
- You become better at speaking your own native language…
- You become more aware of situations around you…
- You potentially help stave off diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s
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