Researchers have found that learning a second language can help strengthen your brain.   What does this mean exactly?

Anything that is challenging to learn and forces your brain to work, is like food for your brain.  The more difficult the subject, like learning another language, the harder it has to work.   Studies have shown this type of brain strengthening helps young students improve their academic performance in other subjects.  In Adults, studies have shown that it helps stave off dementia.

Yesterday on Radio Times,  WHYY’s  Marty Moss-Coane had several guests on her show to discuss the benefits of learning a second language.  ELLEN BIALYSTOK, discussed how bilingualism actually changes the way the brain works.  In people who are are bilingual, both languages are both always active.  Evidence has shown this strengthens the brain.  A bilingual brain is more able to focus because it has learned how to select the language it needs to speak.

For adults, learning another language is an extremely difficult brain activity and very stimulating.  Research has found that challenging your brain, even as an adult, can potentially postpone the delay of dementia symptoms.

The executive director of the Modern Language Association of America,  ROSEMARY FEAL , believes students should have the opportunity to learn language at an early age.  Children who are exposed to a second language develop empathy and knowledge of other cultures.  As students get older and enter the workforce, the feedback from the business community is that communication skills are the keys to success business.  Knowing another language is tremendously beneficial when doing business in a foreign country.  It improves and strengthens business relationships.  Without it,  there are nuances that get lost in translation.    To help its students stay ahead of the curve, Princeton is now requiring students to study a foreign language much like European college students to help with cross cultural understanding.

To listen to this radio show  click here

And remember, it’s never to late to learn a second language and feed your brain!