In retirement, it can be difficult to know what to do in your abundance of free time. Why not take this opportunity and better yourself by learning a new language? Everyone knows that learning a language is good for you, but how good is it exactly? It turns out, learning a second language, even in adulthood has immense benefits! Read on to learn what the positive impacts are of learning a second language for aging adults.
Stimulates Your Brain
It’s undeniable that learning a second language has many cognitive benefits. Those who pick up a second language are able to switch between different competing parts of their brain more easily than monolinguals. This causes bilinguals and multilinguals to have improved memory, problem-solving, concentration, and critical thinking skills. In addition to these cognitive benefits, learning a second language also helps you to enhance your creativity and listening abilities. The added bonus for older adults is that such cognitive improvements will stave off mental decline and the risk of developing cognitive conditions such as dementia.
Explore the World
In your retirement years, you may think of traveling the world. Learning the language of where you are visiting can revolutionize how you see that country. While monolinguals tend to stick to places that cater to tourists, knowing the language of the country will allow you to better navigate outside of the tourist bubble. With this amazing ability, you will be able to interact with locals and experience the country in a way that is inaccessible to most people.
Connect with Others
As an older adult, it is tough to find opportunities to socialize with others. Luckily, learning a second language is the perfect excuse to go out and meet others. Sign up for a language class in your community and you can connect with like-minded people. You will be able to meet a range of people, from those who speak that particular language natively to young adults who are interested in the language and culture. You can also choose to join language interest groups online to practice the language while you’re not in class. You never know, after learning this language, you may walk away with new friends.
When you learn a new skill, your confidence increases. This works too when it comes to mastering a foreign language. While learning the language, you’ll often make mistakes and put yourself out of your comfort zone. This is a necessary step in improving your confidence. You’ll be able to understand that making mistakes is all part of the learning process and you’ll feel incredibly accomplished once you’re able to converse in this newly learned language.
Easier to Learn Another Language
Now that you’ve learned a new language, what’s stopping you from picking up another one? The positive mental effect of learning a new language trains the brain to analyze and understand different linguistic structures. This can be utilized in learning any language’s syntax, grammar, and sentence structure. Your brain will be able to use this ability and replicate the process with other languages through muscle memory. So go out and start learning a third or even fourth language!