We all know the advantages of speaking several languages: more job opportunities, more facility to learn about different cultures and meet people from other countries, access to foreign literary texts in their original version, amongst others.
But, what cognitive benefits does it have?
Various studies have demonstrated that it is in the nervous system where bilingualism has a greater impact.
Those speaking more than one language develop a greater capacity for general learning. Moreover, against different situations, a bilingual speaker shows more creativity when searching for solutions.
We can also observe differences in the cognitive control, since a monolingual speaker has less capacity to change tasks or implement different strategies. As for the attention skills, when somebody speaks more than two languages, they develop a control system that allows them not to get confused when speaking to people from different languages. This phenomenon favors the processes of attention.
Finally, we can talk about important benefits regarding the premature aging of the brain. The Canadian researcher Elen Byalistok explained, in the magazine Neurology, how speaking more than two languages can delay, an average of 4 years, the occurrence of Alzheimer‘s disease. In other words, learning others languages will help us stop cognitive deterioration.
What other reasons do we need to start learning a new language?