Being Bilingual is Good for your Brain. But will it counteract those years of binge drinking in college?
We all know that learning a new language can help you with your career. Nothing quite pops of your resume like fluency in multiple languages. If you speak Arabic, or Chinese you are pretty much guaranteed a government job. Right?
Learning a new language is also great for your love life. Dinners with your Mexican in-laws will be more fun and whispering sweet nothings to your lover in Italian is always a good move.
There is also a feeling of accomplishment that comes with gaining fluency in a foreign language. For many people speaking a new language is a big part of self-actualization (that last step on Maslow’s hierarchy).
So what about your brain? From a physiological perspective is it good for you? Do you need to add language acquisition to your week of meditation and mindfulness, exercise, healthy diet and 8 hours of nightly sleep? Does learning a language counteract those years of abuse binge drinking in college?
If you have ever taken a private language class, you will know that it is very challenging. It will often leave your brain feeling like mush. That is because learning a new language takes effort and your brain has to work hard. Think of it like bench presses for your mind. It’s hard to learn a language passively like we all did when we were 2 years old.
Research shows that being bilingual makes you smarter, and has a profound effect on the brain increasing cognitive skills. Being bilingual helps you to prevent dementia, focus on tasks, switch between tasks, improve your memory, improve decision-making skills. Physiologically speaking you will also gain more grey matter with your new language (potentially righting the wrongs of your college drinking days). You will also improve your awareness of English because you will revisit grammatical concepts you have long since forgotten.
Did we mention you will also make a lot more money?