How Learning a New Language
Helps Brain Development
The human brain is quite a remarkable organ. It has the ability to undergo structural or psychological changes throughout the whole course of life and this ability is called brain plasticity. Researches have shown that many brain areas are “plastic” i.e. susceptible to change. Due to its nature, the brain is constantly “shaping” under the influence of the environmental stimuli, the thoughts, emotions, meditation and brain exercises through learning, all of which greatly implicate in the health, learning ability, memory and recovery of the brain.
One of these factors that greatly stimulates brain plasticity and we mostly pay attention to, is learning. Moreover, learning and building different skills affect brain change in different ways. One of the greatly praised skills that affect the brain in very positive way is the learning of different languages.
Learning two or more languages at a young age brings numerous benefits for remarkable brain and cognitive abilities. This is because a developing brain has a higher degree of plasticity, however, an adult brain is also capable of change and this change can be boosted by acquiring new language skills.
By learning a new lingo you gain more than foreign language skills, you also develop enhanced brain function. But in order to achieve this, you need to truly work on grasping language skills. It’s similar to the building of a muscle mass. You need discipline, continuity and many repetitions. But, first, you need affection. Is it French that you always wanted to learn? Second, you need proper support from a professional tutor and you can find one at https://www.livelingua.com/french/.
What Happens to Your Brain When You Learn a New Language
Very interesting studies show that depending on the stage of life in which the new language skills are acquired, the brain stores the information in different brain areas. In children that have recently developed the native language skills, if an additional language is acquired it will be stored in the same brain area. However, in adults, information about the newly acquired language is stored apart from the native language. Moreover, the native language is stored in the left hemisphere of the brain, the one that controls speech production, articulation and language comprehension. The new language, however, is “saved” in different areas across the brain including the right and the left hemisphere.
The traveling of all the complex information that entitle a language from one brain area to another, contribute to forming many new brain connections and developing of gray and white matter pathways that build strong connections between the two brain hemispheres and this results in:
Building of the Brain
As mentioned previously in the text, to acquire certain skills you need practice and practice equals repetition. The repetition of the many elements of the language, from learning and remembering words, acquiring the writing and sound system, grammar and putting all in expression, results in building strong neuropathways that with time help our brain perform better at a certain skill. Moreover, this “building” of the brain also contributes to boosting better memory, multitasking abilities, enhanced cognitive skills, problem-solving skills, fast learning and comprehension.
Not only that the acquiring of the new language affects the build of the brain, but the use of different languages also contributes to a stronger and better-performing brain. People that are bilingual or multilingual possess the ability to seamlessly shift between languages. Although it appears effortless, all that takes place inside the brain when one is switching between two or more completely different languages is another great mental exercise that boosts gray matter volume in many regions of the brain.
Prolonging Brain development
Naturally, our brain goes through a development process that eventually slows down and as we age start to regress. However, science has confirmed that one of the things that can prolong brain development, thus postponing the process of deterioration, is the learning and speaking of different languages. The mental gymnastics that is performed with the use of different languages helps the brain to form new neural connections and prolong the development phase. Furthermore, building new connections through learning and speaking several languages can also help a brain to recover after an injury.
Postponing Brain Deterioration
Accordingly, if we contribute to the prolonging of brain development, we will postpone the brain deterioration. Moreover, our brain goes through a course of development up until a certain point from which it starts deteriorating. Aging is not something we can stop but we can certainly slow it down. Many studies performed on bilinguals have shown that they have less chance of developing degenerative diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Seniors bilingual’s brains have more reserve brainpower that helps the compensation for age-related memory loss. In conclusion, the more languages we learn during the course of life, and the more we use them, we are less likely to experience cognitive decline later on in life.