The benefits of learning a new language

Learning a new language can provide a whole host of benefits for young and old alike. Whether you’re looking to broaden your horizons professionally or socially, improve your brain health, or gain a deeper understanding of other cultures, enrolling at a language school such as Spanish Connection can help you to achieve your goal.

Here, we explain three of the ways that language skills could improve your life.

Career prospects

Being multilingual can make you a very attractive prospect for employers. While language skills may be an essential requirement for positions in industries such as travel, tourism and hospitality, knowing a second or third language can put you ahead of the competition in many other sectors too.

With an increasing number of organisations going global, the ability to communicate with clients, audiences and suppliers around the world has become more important than ever before. With this in mind, many employers are looking to the international jobs market to fill vacancies. As such, the differentiating factor when it comes to recruitment can often be whether or not a candidate can speak multiple languages.

According the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the most sought-after languages among UK managers include German, French and Spanish. Job seekers with these languages have a distinct advantage when it comes to securing employment in the UK and Europe.

Brain health
Significant research has been undertaken into the effects of language skills on brain health and development. Numerous studies suggest that learning a new language can have a positive effect on cognition.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, for example, found that reading, verbal fluency and intelligence can improve as a result of taking up a second language. The study tested people aged 11 or in their seventies and found that the cognitive benefits of this endeavour were present in both age ranges.

A further study, carried out by scientists at Lund University, suggests that acquiring a second language can cause areas of the brain to develop in size.

Being bilingual can also delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia, according to a study undertaken by Edinburgh University and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad in India.

Cultural understanding

Being able to communicate in multiple languages opens up a world of possibility in terms of international travel. When you can speak and understand the language of the region you’re visiting, you don’t have to rely on translators, interpreters, phrasebooks or dictionaries. This frees you up to travel independently, communicate with native speakers without assistance and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural nuances of a particular area.

Appreciation of the arts can also be enhanced through multilingualism as the more languages you are able to understand, the greater the number of books, films, songs and plays you can appreciate.

As this blog has illustrated, learning a new language can be a highly rewarding undertaking. It is worth remembering too that it is never too late to start, so why not start studying today?

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