The Mental Benefits Of Taking An ESL Class
Learning English as a second language has a range of benefits, from boosting your career opportunities to improving your ability to socialize. However, there are also physiological benefits to taking an ESL course. Recent research has shown that there are significant benefits for the brain to be gained through learning an additional language.
The Benefits of Multilingualism
The Ability To Communicate In A New Language – The main benefit a person gains when committing to learn English or any language is the ability to communicate with the language itself. This allows the learner to create connections with a wider range of the world’s population.
A Faster Change in Brain Function – It is widely recognised that the study of a new language changes the way our brain functions, however it was anticipated that these changes would only take effect once the learner had achieved a reasonable level of fluency in the new language. More recent studies have shown that this change begins to happen within the first two weeks of ESL learning, bringing with it a host of positive benefits.
Superior Memory Function – Learning a new language has a proven positive impact on memory function, specifically short-term memory. As the brain adapts to learning a new language, this boost to memory function continuous and has a beneficial effect on the learner’s ability to absorb new skills in other areas.
Increased Mental Flexibility – Taking an ESL course opens up new mental pathways in the brain, some of which have been dormant from childhood, and allowing a person to use differing avenues for thought. Learning a new language helps exercise the brain and keep it flexible and agile.
Increased Problem-solving Abilities – A recent study titled: “The Contribution of Multilingualism to Creativity,” found that ESL learners benefited from increased problem-solving abilities in the following areas: abstract thinking skills, concept formation, and creative hypothesis formulation. They also noted a strengthened capacity to identify, understand and solve problems; the ability to focus on a task by filtering out distractions and extraneous information, and an increase in multi-tasking ability.
Prevention of Brain Deterioration – The same study also reported that individuals who were multilingual had a decreased rate of 2 to 4 years in the development of age-related cognitive problems such as dementia.
Increased Ability In Digital Literacy – Because of their quickened mental abilities, individuals which are multilingual have a noticeable ability to stay up to date with modern technologies. This is particularly true of those who made use of digital and online learning methods during their language courses.
Reaping the Benefits
We here at Northwest Community College are committed to enhancing our students lives, which is why we are proud to offer our ESL courses free of charge to our students and to extend that offer to their families, friends and the entire Las Vegas community for Spanish speaking individuals.
Our seasoned language teachers are experienced in working with international students from all over the world and are there to help you get the most from your classes. To help your lessons fit in with your work and home life we also offer day and weekend classes. If you are interested in taking advantage of this excellent opportunity then call one of our ESL councillors today on (702) 403-1592.
Fernando Herbert, B.A.
Spanish Language Consultant