There are many fun reasons to learn a foreign language. Travelling is more enjoyable, you get to experience other cultures more intimately, or you can advance your career significantly. But you may not be aware that learning a foreign language is also useful for your brain.
One of the toughest challenges for the human brain is to master a new language. Learning the mandarin language, for instance, takes your mind through entirely new experiences which enhance your memory, sharpen your cognitive abilities, improve your decision-making skills and increase your attention span. It is the perfect brain exercise
Below are some of the brain benefits of learning a foreign language.
You’ll be Better in Decision-Making
Studies from the University of Chicago indicate that multilingual people have better decision-making skills. People who speak more than one language are better able to pick up non-verbal communication in any given situation. This enables them to enhance their appreciation of the different intricacies of a situation thus are more rational in decision making. On the other hand, monolingual individuals rely more on what is verbal and are less in touch with the nuances and subtleties of a conversation.
Improves Your Memory
Not so long ago, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology indicated that bilingual kids were better in performing tasks that required the use of their working memory than their monolingual counterparts. The investigators concluded that the differentiating factor was the knowledge of more than one language which contributed to the better working memory. This could also give impetus for learning business Mandarin. Better working memory is an excellent addition to your career journey.
Increases Your Attention Span
A multilingual person often needs to switch between languages and decides on the appropriateness of using a particular language in a specific situation. This switching, evaluating and applying gives your brain plenty of exercise in focusing, and sifting through information. Thus the brain gets better at concentrating amidst distractions. North Western University’s professor Viorica Marian unearthed this benefit in a study published by the journal Brain and Language. She defines this ability as inhibitory control and describes it as a significant quality which is paramount “whether you are driving or performing surgery”.
Better Cognitive Abilities
Inhibitory control is one aspect of cognitive abilities. Learning a foreign language can help you improve your cognitive skills. A study from the University of Edinburg showed that multilingual students are better readers, speakers and they were more intelligent. Talk about a boost in your self-esteem. Regardless of whether you take a mandarin course in singapore or any other language, students, including adults, will exhibit improvements in these cognitive abilities.
It Keeps Your Brain Healthier for Longer
After listing all these benefits of learning a foreign language, it is not a surprise to know that it also keeps your brain healthy for longer. Just as there are health benefits of exercising to the body, learning a foreign language, the perfect brain exercise, keeps it healthy for longer. Scientists from the UK studied the effects of bilingualism on dementia and discovered that bilinguals developed dementia up to five years later than monolinguals.