In a thought-provoking article for The New Yorker, Margaret Talbot pinpointed why language learning becomes more significant the older you get. She said –
“One problem with teaching an old dog new tricks is that certain cognitive abilities decline with age, and by “age” I mean starting as early as one’s twenties. Mental-processing speed is the big one. Maybe that’s one reason that air-traffic controllers have to retire at age fifty-six, while English professors can stay at it indefinitely.”
Put simply, if you don’t use it, you lose it!
Human proclivity for the secret of eternal youth is nothing new. Every new miracle face cream, so-called superfood and fad diet could be that one thing we’ve been waiting for all our lives to help us stay younger for longer.
But, the Neuropsychologia journal has shared scientific evidence suggesting that language learning is capable of holding back the years more effectively than any wonder potion.
According to Medical News Today –
“… Neuropsychologia reveals that bilingualism makes changes in brain structure that are linked with resilience against Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.
One study, for example, reported that being able to speak two languages could delay Alzheimer’s by as much as 4.5 years.”
Imagine language learning taking up to four and a half years off you! Where do we sign on the dotted line?
It’s not just the science that makes language learning a well-kept anti-ageing secret. It’s psychological, too.
Language learning represents a new window on a world filled with hopes, dreams and possibilities. If that’s not youthfully invigorating, what is?
At La Academia, we don’t believe in any such thing as being too young or too old for language learning. There’s no sell by date for sharing one of the most exhilarating and effective secrets of mental sprightliness with you.
Is It Really Too Late to Learn New Skills? Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker
How bilingualism may protect against Alzheimer’s, Ana Sandoiu, Medical News Today