The Benefits of Learning Another Language

Learning local languages can benefit brain and social development

While the prospect of learning another language may be daunting, especially if you struggled to get decent grades for your mother tongue at at school, there are many good reasons to do so. South Africans may be at an advantage in this regard compared to many other nations, as most South Africans speak at least two languages, and often more.

learn language

Here are some compelling reasons to learn another language:

1. Massive benefits for your brain:

  • Knowing another language protects your brain against aging and can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia by around 4.5 years.
  • This is true even if an individual is illiterate but can speak another language.
  • Research reveals that the more languages you know, the less likely you are to experience memory loss or cognitive decline later in life.
  • Being bilingual or multilingual enhances your ability to multi-task (as you are thinking in different languages) which reduces stress.
  • Research has also shown that knowledge of other languages improves decision making ability and helps you become a better listener.
  • For children, or anyone involved in studying, knowledge of another language improves academic performance in other areas such as Maths, reading, comprehension and vocabulary tests.

2. Social and financial benefits:

  • You will enhance your travel experience in foreign countries, being able to order food and know what you’re eating and get a more complete experience of the culture. Being able to fit in like more of a local, you’re less likely to be scammed and harassed as a tourist.
  • You will be able to make deeper connections and form deeper friendships with those of other cultures and they will respect you more just for attempting to speak their language.
  • You will increase your job opportunities – with business becoming more global, it will be to your advantage to learn another language and may lead to better paying jobs.

3. Benefits of learning a local language:

  • In South Africa, we have 11 official languages and many of the reasons mentioned already are also benefits of learning a local language instead of a foreign one. While it may seem fun and romantic to learn French, German or Italian, you will probably only get to use that knowledge if you travel there or move to that country. Of course, the cognitive benefits apply to any language you learn.
  • Learning a local language like Zulu or Xhosa will benefit you in your own country as you will be able to understand and converse with many more of your countrymen.
  • Speaking to someone in their own language earns you respect – even if your accent is strange! Speaking a local language instantly breaks down barriers to communication. Nelson Mandela is believed to have said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”.

learn language

BrightSparkz Tutors offers a unique concept of language “boot camps” in Afrikaans and Zulu. These are appropriate for both school-age learners and adult beginners. This is a fun and effective way of learning the basics of a new language and it removes the fear and resistance that many people feel when learning a new language.

For further information, or to book your Afrikaans Boot Camp or Zulu Boot Camp, please contact BrightSparkz Tutors where our friendly team of consultants are waiting to assist you.

If you need more specialized language tutoring, we can assist with that too!

Written by Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer

Tutor of the Month: April 2018

Best Tutor of the month

Luke H is our April 2018 Tutor of the Month!

Luke has been a part of our team since October 2017 helping struggling students in the Hillcrest area! 
He is an excellent tutor with a passion for Science and Accounting and he knows the importance for setting small goals in order to reach the top. Luke has completed a Certificate of Business Accounting, and is studying a BAcc in 2018. He wants to complete his Postgraduate Degree in Education and become an Accounting teacher. In his free time he enjoys doing yoga, scuba diving and volunteering at uShaka Marine World. Luke believes that anyone can accomplish their goals with the right attitude and guidance. 
Students and clients can’t thank Luke enough:
After her first lesson she became even more driven to want to succeed in her upcoming exams. It was a very refreshing sight. Luke has been such a huge help to Sanelisiwe. Although he is well aware of the professionalism he has to maintain, he has made it more comfortable for my daughter to openly communicate with him by being friendly and always encouraging dialogue and help even outside of the lesson. This just shows his dedication to his job.”
Thanks for your hard work & dedication to your clients, Luke!