Why and How Should You Learn a New Language

Why and How Should You Learn a New Language

This article will teach you the value and importance of being fluent in more than one language. You will also learn some language learning tips.

Benefits of Having a Multilingual Brain

You are part of the world’s bilingual and multilingual majority if you are fluent in more than one language. Aside from making it easier to communicate with people from other cultures, knowing two or more languages means that your brain may look and function differently than that of monolingual individuals.

What does it mean to be fluent in a language? Language ability is typically assessed through two active components: speaking and writing. It is also divided into two passive components: listening and reading.

A balanced bilingual is someone who possesses nearly equal abilities in two languages. Most bilinguals around the world, however, know and use their languages in varying degrees.

Recent research on bilingual children shows that they have an advantage over single language children. Increased attentive focus and high levels of thinking and awareness are among the benefits.

When compared to monolinguals, bilingual children who had received five to ten years of bilingual exposure performed better on cognitive tests. They also had better attention focus, distraction resistance, decision-making, judgment, and feedback responsiveness.

These advantages are not limited to children, but also to adults who learn a second language. The main reason children appear to be better at learning languages is that they are less self-conscious and thus more willing to make mistakes.

Tips For Learning New Languages

Most people believe that once you reach a certain age, you can no longer learn a new language. Recent research has already debunked this theory. Others believe that you are either born with or are not born with the language-learning gene.

More than half of the world’s population speaks more than one language. This means that being able to speak only one language, or having a “mother tongue,” is a result of culture rather than biology or birth. So when people struggle with language learning, it’s not because they lack the necessary genes. It’s because they’re learning inefficiently.

Here are a few important tips to help you get better at language learning:

Embrace mistakes and speak from day one

Making mistakes is how we learn. We are expected to make mistakes as children, but as we grow into adults, making mistakes becomes frowned upon. We’re more likely to say “I can’t drive” or “I don’t speak Yoruba” than “I haven’t learned that yet.”

When it comes to language learning, one of the best things you can do is prioritize communication over perfection. Instead of waiting until you’re ready to say, “Excuse me, sir, could you direct me to the nearest bathroom?” walk up to a native speaker around you and ask, “Bathroom, where?”When it’s clear that you’re a student, people will be more forgiving than you think.

Focus first on the most common words used to communicate

To speak a language, you do not need to know all of its words. In fact, you are unlikely to know all of the words in your mother tongue. In English, for example, only 300 words account for 65 percent of all written material, and we use those words frequently when speaking the language. This is true for every other language as well.

Furthermore, there are usually words from a language you already know that sound and mean the same thing in the language you’re learning. Such words are known as cognates, and they usually have nearly identical linguistic origins, such as English father, German Vater, and Latin pater.

For example, French and English share many words but have different pronunciations. One-fourth of the words in Hausa are also derived from Arabic. Languages that appear to be very different can have a lot of vocabulary in common.

Immerse yourself in the language

Even if you are not in a location where native speakers of the language are present, you can immerse yourself in the language. You can watch videos and listen to audios in the language online if you can afford it. You could also read books or news in the language, as well as Skype or video-chat with native speakers online. In this article, Benny Lewis provides a wealth of tips and tools to help you become immersed in the language of your choice.

The bottomline is that when you’re first starting to learn a new language, you need to spend time listening to and watching people talk in the language. You might want to find a learning partner if need be, talk to yourself whenever possible. Just dive in!

Being multilingual provides your brain with numerous benefits. Some of the physical benefits include increased density of grey matter, which contains the majority of your brain’s neurons and synapses. Bilinguals, in fact, have increased activity in certain brain regions when using a second language.

The increased exercise received by a multilingual brain throughout its life can also help to delay the onset of memory-related diseases as one ages. It was once thought that learning more than one language slowed ones mental development, but more recent and accurate studies now show the opposite.

Juggling between languages makes your brain healthier, more complex, creative, and active. Even if you were not fortunate enough to learn a second language as a child, it is never too late to do yourself a favor and make the linguistic leap.

When it comes to our brains, remember that a little exercise can go a long way. So, push yourself, learn a new language, and exercise your mind.