What are the proven advantages of speaking English and being bilingual?

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We live in a global community where different cultures and languages blend together. In 2022 there are now more than 7,100 languages spoken by billions of people around the world. We can’t choose which one we are going to speak as our mother language, but we can decide which language we are going to speak as a second language.

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Deciding to learn how to speak English is the best choice as it is the most popular second language to learn as well as the most commonly used language of science, academia, aviation, the media, and the internet, where over 1.5 billion users speak English.

In addition, one of the biggest benefits of speaking English is that it is the language used in international business. If you want to work abroad or advance your career then learning English should be top of your ‘To Do’ list.

Nowadays, learning to speak English is very easy, with school courses, online video tuition, and a range of apps where you can learn at your own pace on your phone or tablet. There are many English language schools in the UK offering English courses to students at a variety of levels, and where better to do an English course than England, birthplace of the English language?

You can also check out another of our posts, ‘The 4 biggest reasons why learning English is so important’ to read more about the benefits of learning English.

The advantages of speaking a foreign language

There are many social benefits to being bilingual. If you can speak two or more languages it provides you with the opportunity to travel or even move to another country to live and work. It’s another great way of learning about the world, widening your horizons and increasing your social development as you are able to interact with more people.

Not having geographical limits is also a great reason to learn an extra language. You will be able to communicate more easily with people you meet and they will be able to understand you better. Immersion in another country’s culture and customs, and surrounding yourself with its people is a guaranteed way to quickly becoming fluent.

Speaking more than one language has obvious practical benefits in today’s globalised world as it creates greater tolerance and open-mindedness. A wonderful advantage of being bilingual is that an individual has the opportunity to engage and be a part of two different and diverse communities without feeling excluded, and to share new cultural experiences. It will help you grow and mature as a person. You will see the world with new eyes.

Many people find expanding their knowledge fun or choose to learn a different language just because they like the sound of new words. Whatever your reason for choosing to learn to speak English, just learning a second language has huge neurological benefits: it allows your brain to work in different ways, expanding your potential and intelligence.

Learning a language boosts your brain power. You will develop better problem-solving skills, improve your memory, enhance your multitasking abilities, and become a better listener with higher levels of concentration.

How to train your brain – the advantages of being bilingual

Studies have shown that learning a language actually helps the brain’s development regardless of how old you are. ‘The Annals of Neurology’ (Volume 75, Issue 6, pages 959-963, June 2014), a journal that focuses on the human nervous system, explores whether speaking a second language affects how your brain ages. They’ve found that learning a second language not only helps the brain stay stronger for longer but also helps delay dementia deeper into old age.

The Journal also goes on to say that the effects of being bilingual on the brain is not linked to any other factors like gender, socioeconomic status or immigration. They could find no negative effects of speaking another language on the brain at all.

The article describes how learning a second language actually helps more with your reading, speaking and general intelligence than your memory, ability to reason and how fast you can think (although it helps with those too!). Because bilingual people are used to switching between their two languages, they are also better at switching between tasks, even if these tasks are nothing to do with language.

If learning English is your biggest challenge yet, then check out our top 7 tips to help you by clicking here!

The business advantages of learning English as a second language

People may want to learn to speak English or Business English as it is the most widely-used language for international trade, commerce and business. Being competent and confident with the English language can be extremely valuable and may give you more job opportunities, the chance for promotion in your current role, or even lucrative career options abroad.

In addition, you may be looking to learn English so you can attend an English-speaking University and gain qualifications. If you’re planning on entering higher education then you will be working towards an English qualification such as IELTS, or a number of other exam qualifications, all of which you can study for at ELC schools.

You may also want to check out our definitive guide to Academic English to help you improve your English grammar and academic writing skills.

Being able to speak English as a second language is a very positive addition to a person’s skillset as many opportunities – from travel to careers – are opened up to people who are proficient with the language.

So what’s the quickest way to learn English as a second language and become bilingual?

The quickest way to learn English is through an immersion programme. If in 2022 you decide to visit England and learn English at an English language school such as ELC you not only get the best tuition, but you interact with English people 24/7.

When you enter a long-term English study programme your language skills will take off and you will quickly be on the way to becoming bilingual – with that all-important English fluency your goal.

Want to know more? Check out our helpful post, ‘The 8 best things about long term English study programmes’.

Start learning English now! It’s easy and very useful – not just today but for the rest of your life!

Find out more about all the English courses offered at ELC schools by clicking here.

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