Health benefits of learning a new language

May 30, 2017

In this globalised world, it is becoming increasingly important to learn new languages in order to communicate with people from other countries and this may be the reason why parents decide to put their children in immersion programs so that they can learn a second or thrid language. However, not many parents know all the benefits that learning a new language can have.

In this post, we would like to comment on the health benefits that learning new languages brings. María Cristina Cuervo, professor at the University of Toronto, states that "if you speak two or more languages it trains your brain more" and that makes a learner "more of an athlete". This happens when the learner thinks of word and structures in two different languages, finding themselves in a situation where they need to suppress one of the languages. By doing this, these people strengthen the part of the brain that helps them process information and focus.

In this respect, different studies have corroborated that bilinguals are better decision makers and can experience a later onset of different types of dementia, including Alzheimer. For this reason, many specialists in linguistics often encourage people to begin to learn new languages, even if they are not interested in mastering it. In this way, not only would they be healthier, but they would also gain cultural and social benefits.