The Benefits Of Learning A Language
Charlemagne once said, “To have another language is to possess a second soul.” Learning a new language at any phase of your life can broaden your horizons, help to break down cultural barriers and exercise different parts of your brain. Read on to learn more about the benefits of learning a new language and get tips on ways to get started.
Create Personal Connections
It’s easy to get into a social rut, slipping into a familiar social routine with the same people. Learning a new language can expose you to new circles of people with whom you share a common interest. Joining a conversational language class or group, whether online or in-person, can help expand your social connections.
Improve Brain Power
Learning a language boosts brain power in many ways, no matter how or when you begin practicing. Language activities act as a muscular exercise for the brain, developing and expanding new areas. Learning a new language can also help with memory, focus and concentration.
Enhance Awareness of Surroundings
Studies show that people who speak multiple languages are better able to suss out misleading or incorrect information from verbal or written statements and are more adept at identifying content that may be deceitful or underhanded. Research suggests that people who speak more than one language tend to have a greater awareness of their surroundings and a better understanding of small nuances in their primary language.
Foster a Love of Travel
Travel breaks down emotional, social and cultural barriers, and learning a new language often creates a desire to learn more about the countries or regions where that language is spoken. Hearing about another culture’s history, food, music and natural landmarks in its native language, can really make them come alive. If you’ve ever been curious about a particular culture, learning the local language could open up new possibilities for in-person or armchair (virtual) travel to that destination.
Speed Up Decision Making
Experts say that people who speak more than one language are more decisive and make better decisions. This may have to do with the split-second decision-making that is involved in recalling specific and appropriate vocabulary and grammar rules when speaking or reading a foreign language. Additional practice with this type of activity can improve multitasking and decision making skills.
Get Started with a Foreign Language
From phone apps to online courses to conversational language groups, there are a number of ways to begin learning a new language. Here are some suggestions.
- Check local colleges or universities for foreign language continuing education classes. Some schools even let seniors audit classes for free.
- Investigate in-person or virtual group language courses at a local library or senior center.
- Download Babbel or Rosetta Stone onto your phone. These language apps promote learning a new language at your own pace.
- Rent a foreign language film with English subtitles or watch a foreign language series on Netflix or Hulu with English subtitles enabled.
- Form a language group comprised of like-minded friends, and practice conversation over lunch or dinner.
Echo Lake residents enjoy an active and engaging lifestyle that includes classes, activities and events geared towards building new interests. Contact us to learn more about our luxury retirement community and to schedule an in-person or virtual tour.