Learning a second language can help more than just your job search.
While being bilingual does tend to improve job prospects and wages, the benefits extend beyond your checkbook. Here are a few other advantages to studying another language.
- Boosted brain power: Studies have shown that bilingualism can improve the ability to ignore distractions, switch attention between tasks, and retain information. Skills like these are useful in most careers and in everyday life.
- Lower risk of disease: Bilingual senior citizens have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, diseases that affect the brain.
- Improved language learning skills: Learning a second language makes it easier to learn a third or fourth, as it creates an awareness of how language works. Plus, related languages share many commonalities, making it more likely you’ll pick up others.
- Appreciation for other cultures: Speaking in other tongues might make you more likely to investigate other aspects of the country. Reading a book in its original language or seeing a foreign film without subtitles can help you gain a deeper understanding of the work and spur you to seek out more of the country’s music, literature or food.
While you may have signed up for an ESL or other language course to boost your earning power, it’s easy to see how becoming fluent can enrich your life beyond your work.