Learning more languages grows your brain!

Many students require additional stimulation to keep them interested in school work, or they fly through their work quickly and homeschooling parents are left to wonder what to do with the extra time other than merely revising. Extra reading should always be encouraged as well as physical development from playing outside jumping, climbing, balancing and rolling.

A good option is also to learn an additional language.

“Learning a foreign language can increase the size of your brain. This is what Swedish scientists discovered when they used brain scans to monitor what happens when someone learns a second language. We know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than monolinguals.” (from an article in The Guardian titled “What happens in the brain when you learn a language?”)

Children can more easily learn a new language so it is beneficial to start whilst still in school. Dr. Denise Klein, researcher in The Neuro’s Cognitive Neuroscience Unit and a lead author on the paper published in the journal Brain and Language states: “our results provide structural evidence that age of acquisition is crucial in laying down the structure for language learning.” No matter what age you learn the new language the benefits to the brain remain largely the same.

So next time you hear the words “I’m bored” consider taking up a new language together.

Clonard is offers isiZulu second language as an alternative to Afrikaans. Students may also take both at an additional subject cost to really maximise the benefits of learning new languages.