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August 2014

The top five reasons to learn a second language!

5 Benefits to Learning a Second Language

There are many reasons to learn a new language: work, family, love... Whatever the case, learning a second language has innumerable benefits. Here are five top reasons to learn a second language (in no particular order).

1.) Traveling becomes more meaningful

Have you ever felt lost in a country where the spoken language was not like your own? Understanding a bit of the target country’s language makes the experience of visiting so much more fulfilling. Even understanding just enough to make basic transactions and conversation is enough to feel more at home while abroad. And while you can’t possibly learn every language for every country you’d like to visit, learning a new language helps you grasp other languages as well, even if they aren’t similar, which brings us to our next point…

2.) Learning a second language makes it easier to learn subsequent languages

After you’ve gone through one new language, learning a third becomes much easier, even if the third language is nothing like your first or second languages. This is because you’ve worked out a method for studying, training your brain with a strategy of attack. For this same reason, learning your first language poses the most difficulty, as you have to figure out your preferred method of learning and how best to approach the hard task of studying, especially when it comes to which words and subjects you focus on. Once you’ve got a method down, branching into other languages becomes much easier.

3.) There are cognitive benefits

Learning a second language exercises and expands your mind so much so that some believe it prevents dementia. Learning a second language is especially beneficial to developing minds, so it’s a smart idea to get your kids, if you have them, speaking in tongues as well. Additional mind benefits include better memory retention and an increased ability to multi-task. Just the simple act of sitting down and reading can improve your concentration, especially if you’re the type that likes to spend all day glued to the television.

4.) You learn more about your own language

We often take our own language for granted, particularly when it comes to grammar. Diving into a second language can help you learn more about your mother tongue. How little do we remember from grammar school, particularly when it comes to the details of how our own language works? Starting back at the beginning not only refreshes you of the “rules”, it also improves your grasp of your native language as well. Many languages share similar structures and forms, such as the imperative, subjunctive, and past and future tenses.

5.) People will think you’re cool

Let’s face it: knowing another language is really impressive. Besides all the cultural and social knowledge you gain from learning a new language, there’s the “cool” factor, showing others that you’re not only culturally aware, you’re also quite intelligent! Of course, the best reason to learn a new language is for yourself, and making the commitment to learn something simply because it’s “cool” would hardly be enough motivation to stick it through.

What are your reasons for learning a new language? Let us know on Facebook and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on language learning!

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