“You can't see other people's point of view when you have only one language.” - Frank Smith
In a large recent study on the link between language skills and the brain-destroying disease, neurologists report that people having dementia who speak two or more languages, live longer than people who only speak one language. In other words, learning a new language develops your brain and boosts your intellectual capacities while preventing brain diseases.
Advantages of learning a foreign language are numerous, here are some of them :
Ability to multitask is being developed. Multitasking is the capacity to perform several activities at once but it is stressful to someone who is not skilled at it. Multitasking abilities of people who are multilingual are above average. When they are slipping from one tongue to another, several activities are being performed at the same time. And even if, to these people, it seems natural to switch languages, it is, in fact, a very distracting and demanding work for the brain.
It boosts brain power. And the mind becomes sharper and keener... A foreign language is a whole new system with its particular rules. When learning a new language, the brain has a lot of tasks to perform : to recognize new sounds and new language structures at listening. At speaking - to articulate correctly while translating thoughts into a new language and to speak with no mistakes while trying to be relaxed. People who learn languages are just smarter - they are much more critical thinkers because they easily spot anything that is irrelevant and they are good at learning new unknown subjects. Learning French will make your brain work hard. Also, some difficult things, like pronunciation and grammar will become easier and easier with the time. You may not realize this but every exercise and training session will benefit your brain.
It provokes a creation of new neural pathways in the brain.Neural pathways in the brain begin to solidify by the age of 25, however, new neural pathways will be created only when learning a new activity. By challenging yourself and taking on new habits and new activities, more neurons will be grown and more new pathways will be created. The way of keeping your brain agile is forcing yourself to use areas you don’t normally use… It’s a bit like building muscles. Taking on a new challenging activity such as learning French will stimulate the growing of new neurons and their connection to existing pathways. The same thing happens while learning how to play a musical instrument because that involves a lot of multitasking and makes different brain areas work at the same time. After all, newly formed neural pathways are quite delicate and need repetition to be reinforced. Try not to lose your progress ! Only with practice will these pathways become permanent.
It improves the memory.The learning by heart of many grammar rules and vocabulary will, for sure, expand and strengthen your memory. Especially, if you apply this memorized information later while communicating… The memory of multilingual people is more exercised and can recall information with much more facility!
It improves a decision-making ability.When learning new expressions and nuances of the language, a language student frequently and quickly judges whether it is the right expression and the right tense to use... By doing so, the student exercises his decision-making ability. In this way, a decision-making process is being improved in all other areas of your life and not only when you learn the language.
It improves your native language.A language student often experiments with new language structures, conjugations, sentence construction and new vocabulary. Doing this will make him think more about his native language! It will contribute to the development of a good ear for listening and later on, the student will be able to recognize different nuances of the language. When it is a native language, it is a given… people have no need to study it thoroughly in order to be able to speak it. But when they learn a new language, they find it important to look at their native language with more interest and attention. Geoffrey Willans said : “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.” !
It improves the performance in other areas.With new neural pathways being created, the brain develops a variety of cognitive skills. Students speaking another language normally have higher scores on exams in different subjects. Learning the language is especially beneficial to children because it will boost their scores at school. Continued immersion into the language increases IQ as well as develops creativity.
It makes a person more open-minded to other cultures.Learning the French language enables you to more broadly understand this culture which is so rich in heritage. When you study a language, you can penetrate into the very mindset of French people... and also, be able to see the world from a different point of view.
It makes you feel more confident. When you make progress in learning French or when you master it, you become more confident about your skills and abilities. And this feeling will remain and help you to succeed in other domains, therefore, you will have more appreciation of your own. In fact, trying to understand the heritage that goes with learning French will put you in a position of self-discovery. It will influence how you view the world and how deeply you can understand different cultures. The cognitive and mental benefits of learning a foreign language are apparent...
Learning French as well as learning of any other language will make you more confident, more open-minded, more decisive and more intelligent! I think that self-development makes us feel happy and is important to any of us.