(ELCAS) The additional benefits of learning a second language
When you are learning a second language, you aren’t only taking on a whole other way of speaking; there are additional benefits you haven’t even thought of! So while you’re getting to grips with grammar and becoming versed in new vocabulary, you are other taking on new skills as well! Here are some of the additional benefits of learning a second language that you can pick up, wherever you live in the country.
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A new hobby
Sure, you could start watching or take up a new sport, and yes, you could try some cookery classes to pick up some new cuisines; there are all kinds of hobbies you can choose from if you want something to do in your free time. Though if you choose to learn a language as a hobby, its usefulness goes beyond doing something purely for fun; not that there is anything wrong with that, of course!
Learn Portuguese in Aldershot, for example, and you can cheer on Alefe Santos in his native tongue when he plays for Aldershot Town. In Preston, which is lucky enough to be a twin city with Almelo in the Netherlands, Kalisz in Poland, Nîmes in France, and Recklinghausen in Germany, by learning Dutch, Polish, French, or German, you can contribute to the cultural links and ties between these cities.
Learn a language as a hobby, and you are giving yourself the opportunity to make new connections as well as pick up a new skill! More people to chat to at the bus stop, a little appreciation to our pharmacists, dentists, and doctors from overseas in their own tongue. A little friendliness to make the world go round; that is what a second language can give you!
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Okay, so perhaps you need more from learning a language than just the opportunity for more talking. What if we told you a second language could help you with your mind as well? Becoming a better listener, improving your concentration, increasing your multitasking abilities; these are just some of the things you can pick up from learning a second language.
Learning a second language can also help improve our problem-solving skills, and boost our creativity. So the next time you and your friends take on the challenge of the escape rooms Colchester has to offer, you can put those problem-solving skills learned through studying a language to the test! That, or you might start giving Banksy a run for his money with your own street art wherever you live!
For our aging population, the act of learning a second language can be even more beneficial. By keeping our brains active daily, bilingualism, or even multilingualism can push back the onset of degenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. As a ‘side effect’ of learning a second language, a healthier brain is no bad thing, right?
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Expand your horizons
Whether you live in Woolwich in London or Stafford in the West Midlands, picking up a second language can open all sorts of new doors for you. Having a second language on your CV increases your employability for starters, and in the same line of thinking could be used to help you get a raise.
For social skills, picking up a second language means you gain more confidence when talking. Having to start a conversation in a second language at a language exchange, for example, is a daunting experience; one that, when overcome, will give a huge boost to your self-confidence. You will also have new people to speak to purely because now you speak more than one language!
Finally, and perhaps the most obvious, by learning a second or even third language you are broadening your travel horizons. Yes, English might be spoken in most places as an unofficial lingua franca, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to speak other languages! For example, learn Spanish and there are 20 countries around the world you can freely speak to the locals in Spanish with. If you learn French, there are 29 countries using it as an official language. So whether you want to explore Canada, France itself, or many of the countries of Africa, by learning French before you travel you could see these countries in a whole new light.
Are you looking for some help with your language learning? Language Trainers are here for you! Our native speaking tutors are ELCAS accredited and trained, and can organise a tailormade programme of study to suit whatever your needs, level, or schedule. Why not drop us a quick enquiry to see how our courses work?