Learning new languages improves mental health

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Learning new languages improves mental health

Morgan Andrews, [email protected]

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¿Cuál es el punto de ser bilingue? So, you can understand the first sentence. Everyone in America is required to take some type of language class in school. The main two languages are Spanish and French.
According to The Atlantic, 18 percent of people in the United States are bilingual. Only seven percent of college students are enrolled in a language course. Most people hate learning a new language because it conflicts with what they already know about their first language, but having more than one language under your belt will extremely impact your life both socially and mentally.
For example, two of my Nepali friends, our Mexican friend and I went to a Guatemalan restaurant for a birthday party after going to the movies. While at the restaurant, there was one point where my Nepali friends spoke Nepali and our Mexican friend spoke Spanish with the Guatemalan family that owned the restaurant.
I, being the average American who was required to take Spanish in high school, was only fluent in English, while vaguely understanding what was being said. Luckily, the owner’s wife spoke to me in English and told me that in order to get better at Spanish, or any language, I must continue to practice it in and out of school.
No one truly cares about learning another language until they are faced with the challenge of being forced to learn it either because they decide to live in another country, or because they take a trip and end up getting lost in a language world unbeknownst to them.
Bilingual people also have better attention skills, cognitive functions and multitasking abilities. This helps with communication with others and problem solving.
Certain rates of mental health problems can actually decrease when you know more than your native language. According to Medical News Today, being bilingual could delay Alzheimer’s for up to five years.
So, why not learn a new language? There is no good reason not to. It’s always a great idea to learn something new that will significantly change your viewpoint of the world for the better. There are so many pros and hardly any cons of studying multiple linguistics.