A developing body of studies shows how bilingualism benefits us. Speaking multiple languages decreases the risk of dementia. It improves certain cognitive functions and makes you more empathetic and attractive. A growing body of research focused on the economic, health, and psychological advantages of being bilingual. It is attractive, as it affects our emotional and social attitudes as well. Here in this article, we are going to talk about the 9 benefits of being bilingual.
9 Benefits of Being Bilingual
Bilingual people are not only good at lingual task, but they are also better at non-linguistic multitasking as well. In a study, a team of children had two tasks – the first task was to match animal voices with the given pictures of animals. Second, match letters to a musical instrument. When monolingual and bilingual children performed the activity, the bilingual children were considerably good.
According to one study, bilingual children can interpret an adult’s intended meaning better than monolingual children. The ability to select which language to use in distinct contexts helps bilingual kids to consider the perspectives of others. Bilingual children time and time again have demonstrated in research that they excel at critical thinking. They tend to have better focus. A study in Scotland and Italy found that bilingual children were more successful than monolinguals in tasks based on creativity and problem-solving skills.
Ability to Focus
People who can speak more than one language find it easier to concentrate and avoid distractions. The part of the brain known as executive function, which helps to stay focused has proven to be stronger in bilinguals. Whenever a bilingual speaks, the languages they know are active, they have to suppress one language while the other one is being spoken. This mechanism employs the executive function of the brain more regularly in bilinguals which makes it more competent.
Learning Another Language
One of the excellent benefits of being bilingual is that learning another language would be much easier for you. The reason is that language reinforces each other. So, suppose you have learned a second language, learning a third language would be much easier for you than a monolingual.
Knowing more than one language can be specifically beneficial in the workforce, especially if you are keen on new developing fields. In the United States, job opportunities for interpreters and translators are some of the fastest developing occupations. Until 2031, the approximate positions that are available are roughly about 9,200. Some other fastest-growing fields that hire people based on bilingual skills are healthcare, national security, travel, and tourism. Other occupations that need bilingual employees are journalism, international and educational development.
One of the best aspects of being bilingual is that you can earn more money. The financial return of knowing a foreign language varies by job and language, however, it can add up to a lot. In 2005 MIT economist Albert Saiz discovered that college graduates who can speak more than two languages make an average of 2% more money than those who do not. This additional percentage can add up to a lot over time, according to a 2014 article in The Economist. That additional percentage could mean an extra $67,000 in your retirement account.
When you are bilingual, it gives you an advantage in communicating with people. It provides you with innate knowledge about the communication style of the languages. You will not face the issues of being articulate when it comes to being polite, direct, or any other expression. It is because you are aware of the culture, style, and way of communication. You can express your thoughts in whichever language you think would fit your emotion the best.
Different Perspective about Self and the World
Research has found that bilinguals perceive the world differently. For example, people who regularly speak a second language recognize the variations in colors, unlike monolinguals. Research by a professor at Urbana-Champaign at the University of Illinois has found that bilinguals emphasize distinct character attributes depending on the language they’re speaking. Another study has found levels of frame-shifting or changes in self-perception among bilinguals. These researchers interviewed Hispanic women who were fluent in English and Spanish. They found out that several classified themselves to be more confident while speaking Spanish.
Delay the Onset of Dementia/Alzheimer’s
Institute of Medical Science Hyderabad has discovered in research that people who are bilinguals delay the onset of Alzheimer’s for four and a half years. The reason for this is the persistent mental control of using multiple languages which exercises the brain and helps to keep it from degenerating. The delay of these diseases will increase the quality of life of you and your company.
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Benefits of Being Bilingual