The benefits of language learning

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    Spotlight 5/2022
    Frau mit Regenbogen
    Von Vanessa Clark

    Since you're reading this, you're probably someone who's actively interested in maintaining or improving their level of English. We hope you feel good about it – and you should! Because the good news is that you’re doing so much more for yourself than just learning a language. Here, we’ll tell you exactly why this is – and we’re not making it up. It’s all scientifically proven!

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    It’s like sex and chocolate, but better

    A study in the scientific journal Current Biology found that learning the meaning of new words activates a part of the brain called the ventral striatumventrales Striatumventral striatum, also known as the brain’s reward centre. You get the same “hit” of pleasure as when you have sex, eat chocolate or play a game of poker. And learning a new language has zero calories and is less risky than some other activities!

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    Feel better about yourself

    Would you like to feel better about yourself? Then don’t go on a diet or sign up for the gymFitnessstudiogym – learn something instead! A study at University College London found that learning makes us feel better about ourselves. It also helps us to feel more able to deal with life’s challenges. “There is robust evidence that adult learning leads to increases in self-esteemSelbstachtung, Selbstwertgefühlself-esteem and self-efficacyEigenwirksamkeitself-efficacy,” says the lead researcher of the study.

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    Stay mentally fit in older age

    It almost seems too good to be true, but speaking good English (as well as your own native language) can help to to ward offabwehrenward off dementia. Research published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology shows that bilingualism delays the age of the onsetBeginn, Ausbruchonset of dementia by 4.5 years, regardless of your general level of education.

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    Make more money

    It’s obvious: speaking the global language is good for your career – and your income. English not only helps you to find a job, but is often also essential to climb the career ladder. If you want to rise to the top in any business or profession, you need English. And, of course, with these better jobs comes more money. According to the English language course provider EF, employees with good English can usually expect to make 25 to 35 per cent more money than those without.

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    Open a window on new cultures

    Learning English opens a window on other cultures – without you having to leave your home. You can appreciate the lyricsSongtext(e)lyrics of more songs, watch a wider variety of television on different streaming services and even understand untranslatable jokes on Twitter. If you’d like to experience “culture” in a more formal sense, try watching livestreams of fantastic new theatre – such as London’s National Theatre, through its website.

     

    You’ll find even more benefits in Spotlight magazine 5/22.

    lllustrationen:  Ponomariova_Maria/iStock.com

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