Believe it or not, there was a time not too long ago when researchers, educators and policy makers all thought that being bilingual was a cognitive roadblock that would make learning and general intellectual development more difficult. With countless studies in recent decades, scientists have come to put those rumors to rest and find that being bilingual actually flexes cognitive muscles, leading to the speaker having a healthier, better brain.
While it may be true that younger is better when it comes to learning a second language, studies show that it’s never too late. Adults are able to improve their minds and reap the benefits of learning a second language. At a Costa Rica Spanish school, students can learn a new language and experience the following benefits of being bilingual.
Make more money. Multiple studies show that workers who are fluent in more than one language make more money. According to a study conducted by Salary.com, workers with bilingual skills earn 5-20% more per hour than their unilingual counterparts. Another study conducted by the University of Florida in 2000 found that workers who spoke both Spanish and English fluently earned nearly $7,000 per year more than their English-only counterparts. Jobs with a high demand for bilingual applicants range from teachers to translators and doctors to diplomats.
Get the cultural advantage. Bilingualism offers exposure to different cultures through literature, music, movies and travel. Knowing how to converse in a local language opens opportunities for a traveler that are not on the tourist trail.
Pay better attention. A 2004 study shows that being bilingual improves the brains’ “executive function”—a command system that directs attention when planning, problem solving and performing mentally demanding tasks. It is believed that this increase in attention is due to a bilingual’s need to monitor their environment and switch seamlessly between two languages.
Get smarter. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), studies show that being bilingual actually improves memory skills, problem solving ability and intelligence.
Stave off dementia. A recent study conducted by the University of California, San Diego found that individuals with a higher degree of bilingualism (measured through a comparative evaluation), were more resistant than others to the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The study concluded the higher degree of bilingualism, the later the age of onset for degenerative mental disease.
Why take Spanish classes in Costa Rica?
Known for its natural beauty and laid-back vibe, Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish. Research shows that learning Spanish in an immersive environment is one of the fastest, easiest ways to learn the language. By attending Spanish classes in Costa Rica, you can learn from native speakers, then take your knowledge out of the classroom and practice in real-world situations.
Ready to learn more about Spanish classes in Costa Rica? Check out the 8 Reasons to Take Spanish Immersion Classes in Costa Rica and be sure to follow School of the World on Facebook and Twitter!
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