As it turns out, studying a foreign language has a lot more benefits than just being able to order great food at a fancy restaurant or ask for directions while on vacation. Studying a foreign language can actually make you smarter! Recently, scientists have begun to show there are many advantages to being bilingual. Bilingualism enriches and enhances cognitive development and can have a deep effect on the way your brain processes information, and contrary to popular belief, these advantages are not restricted to early language learners. Studies have shown that many of the cognitive benefits available to younger learners who study foreign language are also available to those who begin their studies later in life.
People who speak two languages can be better at solving specific types of mental puzzles. Learning a second language can improve your ability to focus on specific tasks while ignoring distractions, as well as help you become more proficient at multitasking and remembering complex information.
In a recent study at the University of California, San Diego, scientists found that fully bilingual individuals were more resistant than monolinguals to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease: the more bilingual the individual, the later the age of onset. Why? Your brain benefits from being used; the more you exercise it the better and longer it will work for you. Bilingualism gives the brain a constant workout!