What Happens in Our Brain When We Learn Languages?

  • ESL Courses
  • March 11, 2024
  • 3 min read
group of people learning different languages

Learning a second language can have a more profound effect on you than just being able to crack a joke with the locals, it can actually increase the size of your brain and your ability to learn, no just languages, but a myriad of subjects.

In this article, we will be looking at what happens in our brain when we learn languages?

Your Brain Expands

Scientists from Lund University in Sweden analyzed the brain sizes of Swedish Armed Forces recruits before and after they underwent language training and found that learning a new language actually increases the size of your brain.

The study looked at recruits from the Armed Forces Academy who were learning Arabic and Russian at a highly accelerated pace by taking classes that lasted from morning till evening every single day, including weekends.

The MRI brain scans of these recruits were then compared to MRI scans of medical students at a local university. The scientists theorized that the more technical medical course would have a greater impact on the brain and were then surprised that, after three months, the brain sizes of the medical students remained constant, while the scans of the military recruits showed growth in several parts of their brains including the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.

Why These Parts of the Brain?

The hippocampus and cerebral cortex are both sections of the brain that are significantly involved in the language learning process. This is because the hippocampus primarily serves as a link between incoming words and related items stored in the brain and the cerebral cortex controls the production of oral speech and the interpretation of oral and written speech.

What Are the Benefits?

Preparatory research into the benefits of multilingualism indicates that being multilingual improves a person’s memory, communication, and multitasking skills. 

Those people who are able to speak two or more languages are also said to be more cognitively creative and more aware of their environment. Additionally, some studies show that mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia tend to occur much later in people who speak more than one language.

Experienced, Efficient And Free For Students

The benefits of taking an ESL course are clear. By improving your English skills you gain better access to education, a better-earning potential, a better social life and even better results from healthcare. We here at Northwest Community College are committed to enhancing our student’s 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.

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 councilors today on (702) 403-1592.

Chief Information Officer

Dr. Thomas Kenny was born in Chicago, raised in Las Vegas, but considers Northwest Career College his true home. He has been working at NCC for as long as he can remember. He started by moving and building furniture on…Read Full Bio