The Valpo Surf Project (VSP) has weekly programming that not only has the intent of forming mentoring relationships with its students, but also is designed to help them reap the benefits of speaking two languages. Although some may think that speaking two languages can cause confusion in the mind, recent research has show that there are incredible psychological benefits of learning a second language. Although many of us at VSP understand its perks, being bilingual ourselves, we wanted to be reassured that it is worth it to speak another language.
1) Brain growth
Not only can you “expand your mind” in a figurative way, but a German study in 2012 showed that language centers in the brain actually grow as an individual learns a second language. The more extensive or in-depth one becomes with their second language skill, the more these vital areas of the brain grow.
2) Better listening skills
A similar study in 2012 showed that being bilingual can lead to improved listening skills. This is due to the fact that the brain works harder to distinguish different types of sounds in two or more languages.
3) Boost your memory
A study done in 2013 demonstrated that babies that were brought up in a bilingual environment have stronger working memories only brought up with one language. We don’t believe age should stop anyone from learning a second language, because regardless of when you learn the language it is shown to improve mental calculation, reading, and many other vital skills.
4) New ways of seeing
According to a study in 2010, learning a new language can literally change the way an individual sees the world. Different languages have terms that your first language may have. This means that it allows you to express yourself differently as well as describe things in a different manner.
5) Improve your first language
Due to the nature of learning a second language to draw your attention to the abstract rules as well as the structure of language, it is typical that you become more aware of your first language and therefore help you improve.
At VSP we believe there are more than 5 reasons to learn a second language. By opening your mind to receiving new information, you are able to open more doors to opportunities in your life. We hope this article can either reassure you of why you are bilingual, or encourage you to learn another language – you won’t be disappointed in its results!