by Diana Bajraktari
Many people decide to learn a new language for different reasons. Some might have had it a lifetime goal, and some just wanted to watch a movie in that language without using subtitles. Whatever was the motivation behind it, at some point in your life, you decided to learn a foreign language. However, not all people really stop and think about what the benefits of becoming a bilingual are. In fact, you can profit way more from learning a second language besides watching movies in that language. Let's see which are those benefits.
Bilingualism has many benefits. One of the main benefits happens to be the increase in cognitive abilities. Many people experience enhanced concentration, improved memory, improved critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, ability to multitask, and not to forget better listening skills. Also, people that know more than one language display signs of creativity and flexibility. With age, bilingual people are less at risk of cognitive decline than monolinguals.
Bilingualism can also be quite beneficial to the creative aspect. The moment you get introduced to a new language, it's at that moment that you also get introduced to the culture that the speakers of that language have. The more cultures you get familiar with, the more you'll develop different perspectives through which you'll look at the world. All this, in turn, contributes to the increase of the creativity levels.
Every person who has learned a new language can confirm this: one makes a ton of mistakes at the beginning of mastering a foreign language. Pretty often these mistakes are made in front of an audience. Luckily, with time, the number of errors you make reduces the more time you spend perfecting that particular language. People admit that nothing compares to the pride you'll feel after you carry a whole conversation in another language. Language proficiency will certainly increase your self-confidence.
One of the upsides of studying a language is that it moves you out of your comfort zone. Practicing the language with people who speak that language even the natives will help you break out of your shell, and as a result, you become comfortable with nervous situations.
Speaking another language can be a great way to widen your circle of friends. It opens you up to new social opportunities all the while enhancing your social skills. In other words, the more languages you're proficient in, the more people you can interact with, and the more meaningful relationships you can develop.
We're sure that many of you have traveled to a different country whose local language you didn't know. While English speakers can be found in almost every country in the world, there are times when you bump into people who can't speak it. You might know how much of a hassle it becomes to find a mean of transportation, book a motel, or even order food. However, when you speak a language that presumably is spoken there, everything will go smoother.
These are some of the benefits that being bilingual has. However, to get the chance to use them, you have to first join the bilinguals club. Once you start learning a new language, you'll experience yourself most of them.
Diana Bajraktari is a writing enthusiast and loves to write about topics that tackle educational issues. As a former student herself, she spends most of her time writing about student experiences and personal development. Currently, she's writing for the department of ESL Chicago of the University of the Potomac.
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