5 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

5 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

You have probably heard that learning a foreign language is good for you. It is great for your brain, for your job and for your personal well-being, period. There are plenty of great reasons why people choose to learn foreign languages and this post provides a deeper response into what motivates and fuels people to start. We hope you enjoy this unique post and don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Man Learning A Foreign Language

1. "I Want to Make Better Financial Decisions"

Learning a foreign language allows you to get a broader understanding of a problem and therefore have a more comprehensive vision of how to solve that problem. A study by psychologists at the University of Chicago have found that people who speak a foreign language (especially those fluent in it) eliminate the tendency to get caught up in the 'here and now.' Thus, the study shows that monolingual people (people who only speak one language) are more likely to refrain from investments or financial decisions which they would benefit from down the road. This means that learning foreign languages helps you sift through the 'noise' and make smarter, more long-term financial decisions.

2. "I want to understand my partner"

Many students come to our classrooms with the goal of understanding their (foreign) spouse or partner. It is a goal we hear often and, in our opinions, one of the most rewarding goals when you start actually seeing the results from learning a foreign language. People from different linguistic backgrounds think differently. For example, American English is very inclined to be extremely positive with phrases such as "it is beautiful out!" or "you did such a great job today!" Whereas French, for example, uses negative sentence structures to express a positive thing like "il fait pas chaud dehors" (it is not hot outside = it is cold), or the very common "pas mal" (not bad = good). These examples show how two cultures might express the exact same sentiment, but in two opposite ways. In this case, love is the motivation for many who continue to learn a foreign language and who want to better understand their (foreign) partners. This passion for a foreign concepts is like a "sublime hunger" (as described by Emmanuel Levinas) and it must be fed!  

3. "i want Improve MY memory and attention Span!"

In a society where the attention span has been reduced to 6 seconds (yes, 6 seconds) it is important to find ways to get back on track and improve your brain's activity. Surprise! Learning a foreign language will help you accomplish just that. A study conducted by Northwestern University showed that knowing multiple languages forces your brain to pay attention to relevant sounds, while blocking out irrelevant sounds. This makes a lot of sense since you need to adjust the frequency of your hearing in order to "receive" and "decrypt" the message. The study provided the first biological evidence that being bilingual improves your hearing and helps with attention span and working memory. Many adults find it hard to learn a foreign language and believe in the myth that it is too late for them because of age. This is NOT true. You can learn and become highly proficient in a foreign language. There are certain obstacles for adults that do not necessarily exist in children, but they are mainly phonetic. You can do it and your brain will thank you!

4. "I want to Increase my sense of self worth"

There is nothing wrong with being proud of mastering something in a foreign language. Being able to order a full meal while being understood in a foreign country feels great! Let's be honest, we love the feeling of pride and joy that comes with asking a taxi driver to go to our hotel (in a foreign language) and we actually get there! Communication is key and it feels amazing when it works. On a different level, speaking a foreign language contributes to the development of your own personality. It can help you discover a part of yourself you did not know. It can help create a part of yourself that you really want to have. Think of languages as a blank state. You are in charge of building the personality you want. So think of it that way. What persona will you create? 

5. "I want To Increase MY NetworkING Skills"

Speaking another language opens up a whole new world of communication and networking possibilities for you! In a world that is becoming more and more connected between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more, it is extremely beneficial to be able to communicate with as many of its members as possible. The technology to do so is no longer a barrier, and once you break down the language barrier, your network can grow tremendously. You can use your foreign language skills to your advantage by quickly jumping to the tweet that others might not be able to respond to. Nowadays, it's about having the skills and the speed.

We hope you enjoyed these 5 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language. If you are looking to build your foreign language skills, don't forget to check out our Group Classes, and Cultural Events at JP Linguistics. Also, don't forget to share this post with your friends using the simple 'share' button below. Merci beaucoup! Grazie mille! Muchas gracias!