Learning languages abroad helps develop intelligence by streamlining the way we reason, as well as enabling our brain to perform demanding or heavy tasks successfully, such as solving complex problems and planning. Here’s why learning languages makes you smarter than the rest.
There are hundreds of reasons why a language should be learned, but it is true that, for example, improved memory, attention span, anda lower risk of cognitive decline are among the most important benefits we might consider, related to intelligence, by mastering two or more languages.
A large number of evidence suggests that bilingualism (having learned two languages) is associated with the delay of diagnosed dementia. One of these studies is that of Ellen Bialystok, a professor at York University, who concluded that dementia can be delayed by up to 5 years when two languages are known, up to 6 years to know three languages and up to 9 years of knowing four or more languages.
Another medical study by Harvard University even found unknown benefits so far. He found that bilingual adults contain more white matter in their frontal lobes, than monolinguals (those who handle a single language), and that their temporal lobes (important for language function) are better preserved.
Other scientific evidence has also shown that knowing more than one language can change the way we perceive the world and that people behave differently depending on the language they are speaking. Learning more than one language has also been shown to stimulate self-awareness and self-esteem, making it easier to empathize and adapt to situations more effectively.
A developed experiment at Hong Kong Polytechnic University found that native Chinese students who spoke fluent English behaved more extrovertedly and openly when chatting with English interviewers, while their reaction when interviewed by Chinese was less energetic.
Learning two, three or more of four languages, allows you a range of social and work possibilities for life, as well as in the cognitive aspect, as they allow you to position yourself as a smarter and healthier person, with greater possibilities, compared to other people or candidates, depending on the environment in which you develop. Here are other proven benefits based on the premise that learning languages makes you smarter:
Control of Emotions
By mastering more than one language, you have greater ability to control or regulate negative emotions. When bilingual people switch to a second language, it also changes the way they experience emotions, they start thinking about a foreign language.
Brain’s Ability to Change Tasks Faster
A study by Child Development found that children who speak two or more languages can change tasks more quickly. In this study, children were asked to observe images of animals or colorful figures on a screen. They were asked to press a button to change the images, children who speak a second language showed greater agility.
At Lund University in Sweden, researchers conducted a study comparing a group of university students versus a group of people of the same age, who learned a second language in thirteen months. After three months of study of both groups, both were mri scanned and it was observed that while the brain structure of college students remained unchanged, certain areas of the brain from whom they had learned a second language had grown, such as the hippocampus and three areas of the cerebral cortex.
Make More Reasoned Decisions
People who think of a language other than their native language are more likely to make a rational than emotional decision; this was evident in a 2012 research by the journal Psychological Studies.
Process Words Faster
Bilingual people, or who are fluent in more than two languages (polyglots), have the ability to process words more quickly, especially if the word in question has the same meaning in both languages. This study according to Psychological Science was backed by eye movement technology to discover that bilinguals or polyglots spend less time observing so-called “cognates”.
According to Scientific American, the brain of those who master two or more words, it takes less time to process a word.
Capacity and Creativity in Children
Research published in the International Journal of Bilingualism found that bilingual children perform better in tasks involving creativity and problem-solving ability.
Mental Agility That Endures with the Years
According to a study published by Annals of Neurology, intelligence tests were conducted on participants whose native language was English; first at age 11, and for the second time when they turned 70. Those participants who spoke more than one language showed greater cognitive ability relative to their base level versus monolingual participants.
Do you now see how important and beneficial it is to learn and master a foreign language? Cheer up and do it! And what better than to do it in a foreign country, with a not very high budget, through one of the programs we have for you?
Discover all the options for studying languages abroad that a platform like Ynsitu offers, where you can compare different language courses abroad in more than 30 countries and 11 languages. It’s time to learn and enjoy!