Foreign language learning: Cognitive advantages for the brain

Foreign language learning: Cognitive advantages for the brain

More and more researches are being done now on the effects of boosting brain activity for those learning foreign languages: be it Hindi learning for foreigners or learning languages like French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Dutch etc for Indians. We Indians are really blessed as most of the children speak at least two or more languages at home, their mother tongue, Hindi. Some families encourage children as young as 3-4 yrs old to start reciting shlokas orally in Sanskrit at home. Apart from giving a boost to their memory, this helps them in their pronunciation and diction, of great use later in their career. Hindi is considered to be the most scientific language. It is pronounced exactly as it is written, no confusions whatsoever.

The Devanagari Script (देवनागरी लिपि) is the most impressive writing.

The System that I have ever studied. It impresses me for many reasons, for instance:

  • The ordering of the letters is according to precise scientific principles.
  • Each letter transcribes a distinct sound.

“It recognizes subtle distinctions in sound.” (http://hindilanguage.info/)

The research shows distinctive advantages of Devanagari script in brain activity. Sanskrit too has this advantage as it is written in Devanagari script. The National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) scientists have discovered that reading Devnagari script involves more areas of human brain than roman scripts. All European languages like French, German Spanish etc use roman script. This means learning Sanskrit and Hindi are more advantageous for human brain. No wonder Indian students are excelling intellectually all over the world. “Our results suggest bilateral activation-participation from both left and right hemispheres of the brain for reading phrases in Devanagari”, they concluded [Source: India Today Report].

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The latest research in this field confirms it too. “Learning languages enhances our brain’s elasticity and its ability to code information,” a study has found after carrying out experiments in 22 male and female students. “The experiment showed that the brain’s electrical activity of those participants who had already known some foreign languages was higher.” (Learning foreign languages sharpen your mind: study, Rajasthan Patrika Spectrum 25, dated 06.09.2016)

It is impossible to imagine today that there was a time when people thought children brought up in bilingual homes would be stunted in their intellectual growth. Today we realize the opposite is true. It has now been proven beyond any doubt that learning another foreign language not only boosts your intelligence but is also the most effective way to keep your mind sharp and buffer you against ageing.

“Learning a second language offers proven benefits for intelligence, memory, and concentration and lowered risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s”.

Understanding language is one of the hardest things your brain does.

“The benefits of learning a second language seem, in fact, to be proportional to the effort expended by the brain.” (The Brain Benefits of Learning a Second Language by Deane Alban)

Since all the research done on the effects of learning and speaking languages points towards the fact that being bi or multi-lingual improves considerably one’s cognitive skills and overall brain function, why wait to give our children and youngsters this advantage?

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Come and take full advantage of this research, age no bar; our motto: Seven to Seventy years all are welcome.

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