Why learning a second language is beneficial for your private and professional development

The pros of learning a foreign language at an early age are widely recognised. Multilingual kids are more imaginative, stronger problem solvers and more analytical. It’s also easier to learn a new language if you’re younger, as you won’t question grammar rules, you won’t develop as strong an accent, and it will seem enjoyable, instead of a chore. However, picking up a foreign language as an adult can still have many social and economic benefits. This article will explain the benefits of learning a second language for jobs, travel and intelligence.

There are many benefits of learning a second language for travel. To learn another language, you will also need to learn about another culture, making you increasingly understanding and empathetic of foreign nationalities. Linguists are also known to be better problem solvers, so will be able to tackle travel dilemmas, like losing your passport or getting lost. Being able to speak the language of the destination you’re visiting will also enhance your safety. Even though you can use translation apps, such as TripLingo, to communicate in a difficult situation, being bilingual speeds up interaction. There are also social benefits of learning a second language while on holiday, because you will be able to converse with the natives, who can give you restaurant and accommodation tips. You could also save money, as you will be able to negotiate at markets and won’t have to use a tour guide.

The need for multilingual recruits has doubled over the past five years, meaning there are more economic benefits of learning a second language than ever before. Multilingual employees are sought after as they have abilities such as problem solving and creativity. Furthermore, picking up a language proves you can commit to developing a different skill. Being multilingual also opens opportunities in new industries, such as tourism, hospitality, interpretation and the military. There are also multiple benefits of learning a foreign language for business development, as bilinguals are able to network with individuals across the world. Bilingual workers are also vital for customer service. Sibur, for example, is active in 80 countries, which means they seek multilingual individuals to interact with international customers.

The list of cognitive benefits of bilingualism is endless. The Baycrest Rotman Institute has discovered that linguists use fewer brain resources to perform memory tasks. This helps to preserve brain health and defends against memory loss and cognitive decline. Therefore, people who can speak more than one language are less likely to develop dementia. The cognitive benefits of learning a second language also influence people’s mother tongue proficiency. Learning a different language helps you to develop speaking, listening and writing skills that are beneficial for both languages. Those who are able to speak many languages are also more analytical and have a greater attention span, which improves both professional and personal lives.

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