Can learning Spanish online help keep you younger? Well, it´s common sense that learning a foreign language will exercise your brain and help keep you mentally agile – we all intuitively know that – but isn´t it great when you have a couple PhD´s in lab coats back you up with some solid research.
I´d like to share an article from National Geographic that a friend of sent to me recently. Her own mother had suffered from Alzheimer´s before she passed away, so the article had made quite an impression on her., and because she knows my involvement with teaching Spanish online, she knew that I´d be interested, too.
The article is based on research done in Canada and it argues that staying mentally young is a choice anyone can make.
Without going into the details, the conclusion of the research is that even late in life, learning a second language (or third, or fourth!) can slow the effects of aging. As one of the psychologists involved in the research puts it neatly: “If we want to learn a second language, [we need to] set time aside to allow that to happen—and evidence suggests the payoff is worth it.”
Those of us who are involved in teaching foreign languages know that it´s a pretty complete mental workout. Students not only exercise their memory and reasoning skills, but they “rev up” those parts of the brain involved in speaking, listening and reading. The bonus is that once you gain basic skills in your new language, you can immerse your senses with a whole new world of friends, music, travel and food. The new language has empowered you to open the door to a new and wonderful array of new mental challenges. Few things learned in life can be so enriching.
So, if you have been thinking about studying Spanish, but wonder if it´s “too late to start”.. no, it´s not. In fact, the longer you wait, the more important it becomes. I hope that our teaching staff can help you on your journey.