5 Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Taking a foreign language course may be one of the most beneficial decisions one can make during their high school career. Here are the top five reasons why a foreign language class is incredibly useful.

  1. Improves attention span.

Switching between languages forces one to focus on what is important and disregard what is irrelevant. According to one study, keeping track of two or more languages benefits the executive system (one’s ability to pay attention, plan, organize, and strategize), and shows bilinguals responding better to stimuli than monolinguals.

2. Easier to switch tasks 

According to research done by the National Institute of Health, people who speak two or more languages are better at multitasking and task-switching than monolingual people. Learning a different language can improve one’s ability to pay attention, plan, organize, and strategize, which help with being able to keep track of and complete multiple tasks.

3. Memory gains

Much like you get stronger every time you exercise, the stronger your muscles get, learning a new language will similarly exercise and strengthen your brain. Learning a different language requires lots of practice, repetition, and memorization of many different vocabulary words and grammar rules. According to the Cerebrum Dana Foundation, knowing more than one language can also prevent mental decline as you age. So learning another language is definitely a great way to improve your mind.

4. Broadens cultural awareness

Learning a new language increases your ability to communicate with different people, including those of different cultures. This can increase your understanding of the people around you and people around the world. By being able to communicate with others through a second language, you can learn from them. This is good for one’s intelligence and awareness of different cultures and people all over the world.

5. Opens up job opportunities and increases communication skills

Last but certainly not least is that knowing another language expands both your job opportunities and communication skills. With more than one language under your belt, you can obviously communicate with many more people. This can also be useful when looking for a job, because many positions will utilize your skills to communicate with as many people as possible.