3 Ways Improving Your Language Skills Can Change Your Life

Authored by Sarah Parker
Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 17:20

Improving your language skills  (i.e. learning a new language) is one of those things that everyone knows is good for them… in theory. Yet, regardless of how beneficial we know it to be, we often cast it aside as too difficult or time-consuming. 

But we shouldn't!

Language is our window to the world; it’s how we connect with each other. It plays an integral role in our lives and should be treated as such. Language can be developed into a powerful tool. 

By honing your grasp of a new language, you will open yourself up to a world of possibilities.

What are the Benefits of Improving Your Language Skills?

Travel

As a jetsetter, you’re no doubt aware of how important language skills can be when travelling to different parts of the world. If you really want to gain the most out of your globetrotting ways, you’ll want to mingle with the locals at least a little bit.

Of course, the one thing stopping you from doing this is the language barrier! Ultimately, what you want to do is learn a new language to meet locals while traveling

No one expects you to be fluent, but having a basic knowledge of any language can help you get the most immersive experience out of your next vacation. 

Career

Whether you're improving your current language skills or learning a new language, it’s difficult to ignore the profound effects that this could have on bolstering your career prospects!

In today’s ever-changing and increasingly globalised world, it's no wonder that multilingual employees are readily sought after by high-power companies and firms. Companies like Bank of America, Barclays, and Goldman Sachs are constantly looking to fill specific language roles within their ranks. 

In 2015, it was reported that about 630,000 job postings in the U.S. were for multilingual employees. One can only imagine how much more this number has ballooned in the past five years. 

Ultimately, improving language skills has the power to give you a competitive edge in an increasingly saturated and cutthroat job market.

Cognition 

Many studies have found that those who speak more than one language tend to see a number of increased cognitive benefits compared to their monolingual counterparts.  

These benefits are mostly seen in what experts refer to as “executive function”. In short, executive function refers to our ability to control and direct our attention. By speaking more than one language, you are constantly in a position where you must actively know which words to use and which words not to use. 

This, in turn, greatly affects how well we can plan things in our minds. It also strengthens our ability to focus on tasks, as the same area of the brain is used to complete tasks (even ones that are unrelated to language) while faced with distractions. 

How do You Improve Your Language Skills?

Apps

These are some of the most well-known and effective language learning apps out there:

  • Duolingo
  • Memrise
  • Babel
  • Busuu
  • Mondly

Users have readily reported that they’ve seen great benefits as a result of using these apps. If you want to dip your feet in the water, then go out and get one of these apps. It’s the most casual way of testing your interest and commitment to improving your language skills. 

Watch TV

Apps are not the most passive way to learn a language. No, that distinction is reserved for everyone’s favorite pastime: watching TV

Outside of nature documentaries and the news, TV also has one other educational benefit. It’s been shown that many people have had great success in learning a new language by simply watching TV programs. 

So sit back, relax, and get to binging!

Take Lessons

Although the other methods discussed will get you learning the basics, taking lessons is what will propel you to fully learning a new language. 

This is the most obvious way to improve your language skills, and it's also the most effective

In-person and online language tutoring is the most intensive, and rewarding, method of improving your language skills. It should seriously be considered if this is something you plan on being fully committed to. 




 

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