Learning a second modern language has the potential to improve students’ memory, complex cognitive processing and cultural awareness. The summer holidays are almost here and not only is it a time for students to take a break and relax, but it can also be a great time to start learning a new language or brush up on existing second language skills. In this blog post we will discuss a few of the benefits that come with learning a second language.
Being able to speak more than one language opens up many doors: from making friends who live in different countries to future career opportunities. Starting to learn a language at GCSE level and continuing to study it at A-Levels puts students in a great position to study modern languages at university. This, in turn, can create the opportunity to study abroad as part of the degree and that can lead to immense personal growth for young people. Learning a modern language can also mean that there are opportunities to make friends with people from around the world which can help young people learn about other cultures and become more understanding of others who may be different.
First of all, what is cognition? According to Cambridge Cognition, a leading neuroscience technology company, cognition is “the ability to perceive and react, process and understand, store and retrieve information, make decisions and produce appropriate responses.”* In a nutshell, cognitive thinking is something essential to our day-to-day lives and research shows that bilingual young children and older adults have an improved cognition. Even in infancy bilingualism can result in “an improved early ability to form categories and interpersonal associations.”** Older bilingual adults, when presented with a task “were found to perform better and faster than the older monolingual adults.” ***
Therefore learning a second language brings lifelong benefits and while it is true that the earlier a person starts learning a second language the easier it can be, and thus perhaps the more benefits, it really is never too late. By learning a second language we push our minds and memories, which means that in older age we stay perhaps a little bit sharper than we would have been without it.
We have various expert tutors that teach languages. Whether it’s the student’s first foray into their new language, or in supporting GCSE, A-Level and university students with their language studies, we have tutors for all levels. Sometimes it is hard to know how to learn a language and because everyone learns differently, but our tutors can tailor various learning techniques to help students achieve their goals and have fun with the language that they are learning.
Written by Aleksandra Dul
Photo by SHVETS production.
* Cambridge Cognition. 2015. What is cognition? Cambridge Cognition Blog. 19 August. Available at: https://www.cambridgecognition.com/blog/entry/what-is-cognition [Accessed on 14 July 2022].
** Byrd, 2012, p.21
*** Byrd, 2012, p.27
Byrd, D. 2012. Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences. Vol. 98, No. 3, pp. 19-30. [Accessed on: 14 July 2022].