Nowadays it is increasingly common to meet people who know two languages from birth. Our global and interconnected world gives rise to intercultural couples, expatriates working abroad, etc. Being bilingual from birth brings many advantages: more job, social and cultural opportunities. Also our brain gets to develop further, since it acquires more abilities by being able to communicate in more than one language.
The Spanish language is a language of the future (as stated by the Instituto Cervantes in its annual report) is a language that continues to grow exponentially. More and more students from all over the world are saying: Hello! to the Spanish language, attracted by a sparkling social and cultural life, exquisite gastronomy and welcoming people from Spanish-speaking countries.
As if that weren’t enough, more and more scientific studies are showing all the benefits that knowing a second language brings to the brain.
If you have Spanish on your bucket list, here are more reasons why you should start studying Spanish right now!
Bilingual people are more mentally agile
Knowing a second language is like doing an indoor cycling class in our brain: our brain works at full capacity. By being exposed to new and mentally demanding learning effort, the brain expands, cognitive abilities improve and our brains become more agile. Whether we learn a new language when we are little or when we are adults, it has been proved that knowing a second language makes us more mentally agile and for longer.
Bilinguism may reduce the risk of cognitive impairment
It has been shown that bilingual people may take 4 to 5 years longer than a monolingual person to develop cognitive impairment. In studies of both bilingual and monolingual patients, researchers found that bilingual people had a much later average onset of dementia symptoms than people who spoke only one language.
Knowing two languages helps us to better adapt to changes
According to various studies, bilingual children have a greater capacity to adapt to environmental changes, they have greater brain flexibility and mental agility.
Bilinguals switch better from one task to another
Thanks to the ability of the bilingual brain to inhibit one language while using the other, bilingual people have proven to have it easier at task-switching than monolinguals.
The more languages you know, the easier it is to learn other languages
The advantages never end. The more languages you know, the easier it is to learn new ones. This happens because there are many languages coming from the same linguistic family (as happens with Romance languages) so they share a lot of vocabulary and structures that we will be able to recognize more easily once we know one of them. Even with languages that seemingly have no connection to our mother tongue, the fluency and confidence gained in the process of learning previous languages will help us with new ones.
It is often said that learning another language is learning another world, and so it is. According to a study by Spanish researchers Agurne Sampedro and Javier Peña, people who learn another language in their school years develop higher levels of creativity. In addition, it has been proven that bilingual people are better aware of their own feelings and emotions.