Why You Should Learn A New Language
Famous Italian movie director, Federico Fellini once said, “A different language is a different vision of life.” Learning a new language exercises different parts of your brain. It can also broaden your horizons and help break down cultural barriers. Learn more about the benefits of learning a new language at any age, and read our tips on how to get started.
Boost Brain Power
Learning a new language can increase brain power in a variety of ways. Through the study of a new language, the brain forms new patterns and builds new synapses as it works to conform to new rules of grammar and diction. Problem-solving and cognitive thinking are fine-tuned as the brain stretches to conform to these new rules, and the recall and application of vocabulary and grammar rules can help improve memory. In short, practicing a new language is like a gym workout for the brain.
Improve Awareness of Surroundings
Studies have shown that those who speak more than one language tend to have a greater awareness of their surroundings. Multilingual people have been shown to be better able to spot both misleading information as well as anything that appears to be deceptive or underhanded. It may be that learning to speak another language may help people better decipher small nuances in their own native tongues.
Make Better Decisions
Quick decision making is an important component of speaking more than one language. Speakers make quick choices pertaining to word selection, and as a result often become more adept at decision making in other areas of their lives and also better at multitasking.
It’s easy to slip into a pattern of habitually doing the same activities and socializing with the same group of people. In some cases, older adults will even become withdrawn and less social over time. Learning a new language as part of a class or a conversational language group can be a means to create new personal connections. Those who are interested in learning a new language are often curious about other cultures and may make great additions to existing social circles as well.
If there is a part of the world or a particular culture that you’ve always been curious about, learning the local language can open up opportunities for foreign travel. Or, if you would like to experience the sights and sounds of a particular destination without leaving the comfort of your living room, then armchair travel may be an option to consider. In either case, language often opens up windows into a foreign culture through food, music, history and more.
If you are interested in learning a new language but don’t know where to start, there are a number of readily available resources from mobile phone apps to language groups to more traditional classes. Different types of programs work better for different students, so take some time to explore your options:
- Check in with your local library to find out if they have a language group you could join.
- Look into signing up for a continuing education class at a community college or university in your area.
- Experiment with learning a new language at your own pace using an app or software program such as Babbel or Rosetta Stone.
- Form a “conversation group” comprised of like-minded friends, and practice your studies over “language luncheons”.
- Rent foreign movies (in your language of choice) with English subtitles.
The Plush Mills lifestyle encourages and enables the exploration of personal interests. It’s an environment with a strong sense of community and friendship. Schedule a tour today to learn more about special programs aimed at enhancing the lives of our residents.