Why You Really Should Be Learning A Second Language For Your Health

Do you speak more than one language? Studies are showing that people who are bilingual have better cognitive functioning than people who only speak one language. Bilinguals may also be able to ward off diseases for longer periods of time than monolinguals. Check out this intriguing read.

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1. Cognitive

Older people who have spoken two languages since they were children appear to have increased cognitive flexibility. This means they are better able to go with the flow in the face of a different or unexpected circumstance, as compared to adults who only speak one language, according to a Journal of Neuroscience study. The research involved having subjects complete a cognitive flexibility task. Monolingual and bilingual adults were both able to complete the task, but the bilingual adults did it more quickly and specific parts of their brains used less energy when doing so. Crazy, right?

2. Sharper Brains Even In Old Age

People who speak two or more languages are known to have brains that stay sharper in old age; even for people who learned a second language later on in life, says a new study in the Annals of Neurology. The research involved following native English speakers who took an intellect exam when they were age 11, then when they were in their early 70s. People who could speak more than one language had better cognitive capacitiess, particularly in general intelligence and reading, compared to people who only spoke one language.

3. Bilingual People Look At Words In A Different Way Than Monolinguals

Individuals who speak two languages may process particular words at a faster pace, especially if the word has the same meaning in both languages, according to a Psychological Science study. Analysts found that bilingual people spend less time focusing on “cognate words.” These are words that have the same meaning in two languages. This suggests people who speak more than one language need less time to process the word, says Scientific American. Awesome!

 

 

Remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.

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