7 Surprising Benefits of Learning a New Language (Backed by Research)

There have been numerous studies pointing to the benefits of learning a new language. Yet, recent study shows that only 18{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c} of Americans can know two or more languages, beyond speaking English.

Part of the reason is that learning a new language only becomes an interest to us once we reach adulthood, and we mistakenly think that it’s impossible to acquire a new language at a certain age. While it’s not a walk in the park, nearly anyone can learn a new language with a bit of motivation and diligence.

Some people have more aptitude for learning languages, including children, and we shouldn’t let it discourage us from continuing to improve.

“People vary in their aptitude like they do in learning math or in playing basketball,” — Dr. Robert DeKeyser, Professor of Second Language Acquisition

If you need more reasons to motivate yourself to learn a new language, here are 7 unusual benefits backed by science.

1. You will improve your native languages

It’s only when we learn Spanish, French, or any new language, that we can appreciate the roots and fundamentals of our native language.

This is because we grew up speaking our native language, without much thought in terms of how sentence structures worked or breaking down the accents for each syllable.

According to the Impact of the Second Language Education, studying a second language alone will significantly improve grammar, reading, vocabulary, and speaking skills of your first language.

It’s similar to playing basketball your whole life, then learning how to play volleyball, and using those skills to improve your basketball game.

“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”
— Geoffrey Willans

2. Enhances your focus

In a study, published online in the journal Brain and Language, individuals who spoke more than one language were observed through an fMRI, while performing word comprehension tasks.

Results showed that multi-lingual individuals were better at filtering out competing words than one-language speaking individuals. This ability to tune out competing words benefits in blocking out distractions to focus on the task at hand.

Luckily for us, studies have shown that even those of us with minimal knowledge of a secondary language can reap the advantages of these traits.

3. Prevents common brain diseases

Hopefully non of us have to worry about this anytime soon, but aging is something that is common in all of us.

When it comes to the brain, learning a foreign language can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 4.5 years. This is a far more powerful than the best drugs which only delays the symptoms by 6–12 months.

The American Academy of Neurology has performed studies showing that speaking more than one language increases the amount of neural pathways in the brain, allowing information to be processed through a greater variety of channels.

4. Improve your math skills

A powerful study was done at Massachusetts in 2007, where The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages stated that:

“Children who study a foreign language, even when this second language study takes time away from the study of mathematics, outperform students who do not study a foreign language and have more mathematical instruction during the school day.”

In another study published in the University of Michigan’s Language Learning journal (Armstrong and Rogers, 1997), students who studied just one semester of a foreign language for just 90 minutes per week scored significantly higher in maths and language arts.

In hindsight, this makes sense because learning the foundations of a new language involves logical and structural thinking. Memorization techniques, such as Mnemonics in language learning, can also play a big role in mathematics, as you need to memorize complicated equations on a frequent basis.

5. Learn anything faster

In the same study done at Massachusetts in 2007, the researchers have concluded that the “exercise in cognitive problem solving” through language learning can be directly applied to anything we want to learn.

Your memory retention is also improved when you learn a new language. Absorbing and retaining more information can significantly shorten your learning curve, because you can spend more time learning new information instead of re-learning something you’ve already seen before.

Lastly, since distraction is inevitable in our learning journey, those who have the ability to multi-task and focus will have the upperhand. Bilinguals have been studied and reported to be better multi-taskers than the average individual.

5. Become more outgoing and liked by others

Language learning is not only about speaking a new language, but it’s about experiencing a new culture.

The first reason is that meeting foreign people is embedded in the core of language learning. In order to practice and improve your new language, you’ll need to work with a native speaking language tutor, use conversation exchanges, or attend language meetups. This is similar to how you need to just ride the bicycle instead of watching videos about it, its just part of the process.

The experience gained from speaking with language conversation partners is basically the same as meeting anyone. The skills of being outgoing and sociable are directly transferable to other areas of your life.

Most importantly, learning a language helps you step into the shoes of people different to yourself and see the world in a completely different perspective — therefore developing empathy for others.

The majority of conflicts between people in the world comes from lack of understanding the other side. Studying a new language not only helps you understand where the other person is coming from, but the cultural knowledge you gain can help the others feel more connected to you.

6. Double your creativity

When speaking a new language, you’re often forced to think of an alternative word that you’re not used to using.

We often have to puzzle together words to form a sentence until it fits and makes sense to the other person. It improves your divergent think skills, training you to think of multiple solutions to problems on a consistent basis.

This “out of the box” experimentation practice is why researchers have concluded that multilingual individuals are more creative than monolingual individuals.

7. It boosts your confidence level

When we set out to achieve something and find success, it boosts our confidence levels — no matter how small the success.

Even being able to carry a 30-second conversation with a native speaker can significantly make you more confident, because you know it’s something you wouldn’t have been able to do before.

This “yes, I can!” mentality will become your personal mantra, and can be applied to any goal you want to achieve in your life.

Author of Lean Forward, Eric Holtzclaw, has stated that even “a tiny change in your perspective that pulls you out of a funk and gives you the boost you need to take on that next challenge.”

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”— E.E. Cummings

Over to you

Which of these amazing benefits we mentioned gives you the most motivation to learn a new language?
Is there any other great benefits that we have missed?
Please share with us in the comments!

Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, the first personalized language learning website.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

76 Responses to 7 Surprising Benefits of Learning a New Language (Backed by Research)

  1. Надо побеждать джекпоты в новенькое известное всем
    место с автоматами – онлайн казино слотика (doska70.ru).
    как раз вот тут бест бонусы для новичков.
    слотика 300 рублей: 2020го сайтец партнерского сайта
    джим партнерс настроенный для
    того случая, что бы стянуть каждого лудожопчиков в этом азартном сборище :
    казино slottica com. https://altaghier.tv/en/2016/04/16/large-military-reinforcements-moved-towards-fallujah/

  2. Надо побеждать джекпоты в новенькое известное всем место с автоматами – онлайн казино слотика (doska70.ru).
    как раз вот тут бест бонусы для новичков.
    слотика 300 рублей: 2020го сайтец партнерского сайта джим партнерс настроенный для того случая, что бы стянуть каждого
    лудожопчиков в этом азартном сборище
    : казино slottica com. https://doska70.ru/user/profile/198161

  3. Stephenpep says:

    otc viagra viagra amazon how much will generic viagra cost

  4. JamesHib says:

    buy viagra viagra online for sale mexican viagra

  5. KevinUsaby says:

    cialis free trial cheap cialis is cialis generic available

  6. DanielNug says:

    mail order viagra cheap viagra generic generic viagra cost

  7. Wallyblula says:

    ed clinic best drugs for ed cialis without a doctor’s prescription

  8. Wallyblula says:

    medications for ed drugs online causes of ed

  9. Stevendub says:

    how to buy viagra buy viagra generic cheapest viagra online

  10. Stevendub says:

    viagra buy generic drugs viagra canada

  11. Stevendub says:

    viagra without a doctor prescription usa viagra canada how to get viagra

  12. Stevendub says:

    viagra online canada buy viagra generic amazon viagra

  13. Danielzef says:

    best ed medication generic cialis injectable ed drugs

  14. Danielzef says:

    treatment for ed generic ed pills online ed drugs

  15. Danielzef says:

    ed drug prices generic ed pills drugs online

  16. Danielzef says:

    is it illegal to buy prescription drugs online generic viagra buy prescription drugs without doctor

  17. Danielzef says:

    best non prescription ed pills generic ed pills how to get prescription drugs without doctor

  18. NathanHoake says:

    generic cialis at walmart generic cialis for sale buy viagra cialis

  19. NathanHoake says:

    cialis price generic cialis for sale the cost of cialis

  20. WilliamRox says:

    cheapest ed pills ed pills online pharmacy canadian drug prices

  21. WilliamRox says:

    ed causes and treatment best canadian online pharmacy canadian online drugstore

  22. Online pharmacy llviabest.com pharmacy rx https://llviabest.com/

  23. Roberttop says:

    personal loans with no credit check payday loans no credit check instant approval

  24. Roberttop says:

    buy cheap tadalafil tadalafil for sale

  25. Roberttop says:

    buy tadalafil online buy cheap tadalafil

  26. Roberttop says:

    tadalafil for sale tadalafil canada

  27. Best cheap viagra pills https://mygoviagar.com
    sildenafil nz buy

  28. Viagra tablets for men https://miraclevigra.com buy generic
    viagra without a prescription

  29. Over the counter viagra in us https://lightvigra.com sildenafil
    brand name in india

  30. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually realize what you’re speaking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly additionally talk over with my website =).
    We could have a link alternate contract among us!

  31. StephenNup says:

    generic viagra names buy generic viagra online generic viagra online

  32. 289089 484468A quite informationrmative post and lots of genuinely honest and forthright comments produced! This surely got me thinking a great deal about this problem so cheers a whole lot for dropping! 68562

  33. Online custom essay writing service essaywritingservicesjy.com best online essay editing service

  34. Sat essay writing help https://essayhelpbgs.com essay help sydney

  35. Thesis writing services uk thesisbyd.com phd thesis writing services

  36. Can you buy research papers online https://researchpaperssfk.com
    help with research papers

  37. RobinSeike says:

    best price for generic viagra on the internet meds online without doctor prescription over the counter ed remedies

  38. Success thought u have shared.

  39. RobinSeike says:

    male erection pills canada drug pharmacy erectial disfunction

  40. RobinSeike says:

    cheap pills online how to overcome ed naturally pet meds without vet prescription

  41. RobinSeike says:

    how long does it take cialis to take effect generic cialis where to bay cialis (tadalafil) pills 80mg

  42. RobinSeike says:

    buying viagra online viagra canada viagra without a doctor prescription

  43. RobinSeike says:

    mens ed pills buy Zithromax erectyle dysfunction

  44. RobinSeike says:

    prescription drugs without prior prescription Zithromax the canadian drugstore

  45. RobinSeike says:

    generic cialis without prescription cialis for sale viagra vs cialis vs levitra

  46. RobinSeike says:

    ed dysfunction treatment generic Doxycyline new ed treatments

  47. RobinSeike says:

    how to treat ed canada drug pharmacy buy prescription drugs online

  48. RobinSeike says:

    ed treatment review generic Cipro male enhancement products

  49. RobinSeike says:

    cialis prices cialis for sale cialis vs viagra

  50. RobinSeike says:

    herbal ed treatment Zithromax anti fungal pills without prescription

  51. Traviserony says:

    vitality ed pills: viagra without a doctor prescription male dysfunction

  52. Traviserony says:

    diabetes and ed: cheapest ed pills online homepage

  53. LarryCague says:

    buy zithromax online zithromax 500 price zithromax 250 mg australia

  54. LarryCague says:

    how much viagra should i take the first time? generic viagra cost viagra

  55. LarryCague says:

    cost of generic zithromax buy zithromax 500mg online generic zithromax azithromycin

  56. LarryCague says:

    viagra without prescription 100mg viagra buying viagra online

  57. LarryCague says:

    cialis prices 20mg cialis side effects safe alternatives to viagra and cialis

  58. LarryCague says:

    can you buy zithromax over the counter zithromax without prescription zithromax azithromycin

  59. LarryCague says:

    zithromax antibiotic without prescription zithromax buy online zithromax 250

  60. Paul says:

    Useful information! But I think that in the 21st century, language learning fades into the background. There are many different translation services out there now, and if you need to translate spanish to english , you can use one of them. I use this service when I meeting my foreign friends or conduct business negotiations with foreign contractors.

  61. sexdollblog says:

    It as hard to find experienced people on this topic, however, you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks Sex Doll Blog

  62. kdjflddkjs says:

    강남카지노강남사설카지노,강남오프라인카지노 놀러오세요^^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.