Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more
languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains
of bilingual people operate differently than single language
speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.
Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your
brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and
communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts
your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving
tasks as well.
Students who study foreign languages tend to score better on
standardised tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in
the categories of maths, reading, and vocabulary.
Improve your English
Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics
of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure.
This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be
structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer. Language speakers also develop a better ear for listening, since they’re skilled at distinguishing meaning from discreet sounds.
Build multitasking skills
Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing, and structure. According to a study from the Pennsylvania State University, this “juggling” skill makes them good multitaskers, because they can easily switch between different structures.
In one study, participants used a driving simulator while doing separate, distracting tasks at the same time. The research found that people who spoke more than one language made fewer errors in their driving.
Educators often liken the brain to a muscle, because it functions better with exercise. Learning a language involves memorising rules and vocabulary, which helps strengthen that mental “muscle.” This exercise improves overall memory, which means that multiple language speakers are better at remembering lists or sequences. Studies show that bilinguals are better at retaining shopping lists, names, and directions.
Become more perceptive
Another study revealed that multilingual people are better at observing their surroundings. They are more adept at focusing on relevant information and editing out the irrelevant. They’re also better at spotting misleading information.
Decision-making skills improve
According to a study from the University of Chicago, bilinguals tend to make more rational decisions. Any language contains nuance and subtle implications in its vocabulary, and these biases can subconsciously influence your judgment. Bilinguals are more confident with their choices after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up.