Learning A Second Language Is Good For The Brain

A retired teacher who moved to California decided to learn Spanish. The inspiration came after she saw the local Latino youth, who were able to switch between English and Spanish easily. This linguistic fluidity inspired the teachers to take weekly Spanish classes, and the results started to appear soon.

While classes are restricted to online-only during pandemic times, a large number of extracurricular activities improved the learning process in the past, including workshops, parties, and excursions that allowed the learners to practice their knowledge in a meaningful way and improve their pronunciation.

Benefits for the brain

Recent studies that observed bilingual people tend to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after more than four or five years in comparison to monolingual people. As the brain learns to master the two languages, a certain connection is rewired.

In a surprising twist, some of the most noticeable improvements were observed among people who were illiterate, as the learning process stimulated their brain and allowed the brain to become more resilient as they become older. As such, bilingualism can improve the quality of life in the long run.

Rewired brain

According to one researcher, the experience of learning and using two languages constantly can reshape the brain, and several factors contribute to this transformation. Some of the important factors are the age when one becomes bilingual, the intensity of exercises completed for this purpose, and the need to known when to use one f the languages instead of the other.

Even if someone starts to learn a language at an older age, the benefits are present. Bilingualism and other activities that stimulate the brain are essential throughout life. Watching an interesting movie, listening to your favorite songs, or solving a cross-word will also provide an important level of cognitive stimulation besides the pleasure of an activity people like and enjoy.