9 Reasons Why Learning a New Language as an Adult is Worth It (And Possible)

learning a new language

Do you think your time to learn a new language has passed? Kids have minds like sponges, right? Not adults.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

Learning a new language as an adult is hugely beneficial. Not only does it improve your health, but your opportunities increase.

Plus, it’s a lie that only kids can learn new languages. Your adult brain is just as capable. Keep reading to find out why you need to start learning a new language now.

1. Maintains Brain Functions

You know the phrase, “if you don’t use it you lose it”? Many of the brain’s functions work that way. If you don’t use certain cognitive skills, you lose them.

Learning a new language is one way to use those cognitive skills. It forces you to get better at decision making and critical thinking. Your attention span increases as does your ability to focus.

Speaking a second language creates new neuro-pathways in the brain. The information you take in has more options for absorption and interpretation.

2. First Language Improvements

When you learn a new language, you get better at your native language. Learning about sentence structure in Spanish teaches you about sentence structure in English.

One reason for this is you’re constantly translating your first language. Until you’re able to think in the second language, you’re translating everything in your head. Learning about new grammar rules makes you notice your first language’s rules.

If you’re trying to use perfect grammar in Spanish, it’ll rub off on your mother tongue. You can read more about Spanish grammar here.

3. Delayed Dementia

Learning a new language can delay the onset of dementia. A study from the American Academy of Neurology looked at the brains of multilingual and monolingual people.

People who spoke multiple languages delayed the onset of dementia by five years.

Interestingly, the results also applied to people who couldn’t read. Speaking more than one language is more beneficial than reading multiple languages.

Learning new languages strengthens the part of the brain that makes executive decisions. This section handles focus, attention span, and memory.

4. Richer Travel Experiences

No one wants to be the ignorant or obnoxious tourist on vacation. Learning a new language immediately takes you out of that group.

Being able to speak the language of the country you’re visiting is liberating. You don’t need to depend on a guide or translator to get around. And, you can make deeper relationships with the locals because you can communicate.

What’s one country you’ve been dying to go, but don’t speak the language? Now’s the perfect time to start learning that language to enrich your travels.

5. Improved Multitasking

Speaking another language improves your ability to multitask. One reason for this is the constant translation you’re doing in your head when learning the language.

A study from 2012 discussed the ability of bilingual speakers to switch from one task to another. Bilingual participants could switch between tasks much faster than monolingual speakers.

The participants were able to ignore distractions and focus on more than one task at once. If you find yourself with way too much on your plate, learning a second language could benefit you.

6. Better Job Prospects

It’s no surprise that employers value multilingual employees. The international economy is growing. Businesses that want to compete in that market must be able to communicate.

You will quickly find that speaking another language opens new career doors. Jobs located in other countries may be available to you. Or, you’ll be encouraged to travel more for work.

Multilingualism is a skill that can leverage your chances of a raise or bonus. Being able to speak with foreign customers or clients makes you very valuable to the company.

7. Increased Chances of Learning More Languages

Once you learn one new language, you won’t want to stop. Learning that first new language as an adult lays the framework for future learning.

The third and fourth languages you learn will come much easier than the first and second. Your brain uses metalinguistic awareness to replicate the process of learning another language. It recognizes the successful processes and duplicates them.

With every new language you speak, the benefits you earn only multiply.

8. Builds Confidence

There’s no doubt about it: learning new skills builds confidence. Learning languages increases your toolkit of skills and abilities. You’re able to succeed at new tasks, like translating while on vacation.

Plus, once you’ve learned one new skill, you know you can do it again. You’ve had success in trying something new, so why not expand your horizons?

Group language classes are the perfect place to build confidence. You’re surrounded by others in the same situation; all encouraging each other. This grows your social circle which also boosts self-confidence.

9. Attract New Customers

Are you an entrepreneur or freelancer? If you only speak your native tongue, you’re limited to clients that speak the same language.

Learning a new language opens your career up to a whole new sector of people. This doesn’t mean you need to be able to do your job in another language. But, networking and communicating in a second language brings new opportunities.

In a dental practice, speaking a second language is huge for your customers. Immigrants and people who aren’t fluent in English prefer clinics that speak their language. Learning a new language will attract new customers to your practice.

Are You Ready to Start Learning a New Language?

The list of benefits from learning a new language is endless. Not only do your brain functions improve, but all areas of your life improve as well.

A new language brings new clients, customers, and job opportunities. You can feel confident in your travels because you can communicate with locals.

For more ideas on growing your dental practice, attracting new customers, and boosting your web traffic, check out the blog.