How To Stay Young With Language Acquisition

March 25, 2013 by totalityservices

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Today, shelves upon shelves of products are geared towards looking younger, but of what use would a great physique and complexion be with a slowing mind? While aging is definitely inevitable, certain cognitive practices are shown to tremendously decelerate the diminishing process, keeping one sharp, even at a mature age. This post is about how to stay young with language acquisition!

stay young with language acquisition

Just as physically exercising  develops ones strength, making the brain work builds cognitive health and vigour. Studies show that the accruement of complex skills, especially at an early age, tends to quicken the brain’s thought process, increasing mental capacity. Some instances even show older adults with such abilities as being able to think faster than those of a younger age who do not possess such skills, quite unheard of when you think about the difficulties many of the older generation face when trying to use new technologies. Added to this, utilizing complex skills garners protection as well, fighting the likelihood of procuring ailments such as the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease.


So, what are these youth-preserving activities? Becoming increasingly recognized, the acquisition of a new language falls into this category. Compared to monolinguals, bilinguals are shown to use their brains more thoroughly through practicing the flexibility of switching thought processes quickly. This basically trains the mind to adapt to and sort a greater range of information, developing a greater capacity, another rejuvenating mental practice might be learning to play a musical instrument which also utilizes different cognitive processes of the brain.


A common excuse to shy away from acquiring a new language comes in the form of thinking one is too old to learn. Though learning as a child has its perks, language acquisition at a more mature stage holds its own advantages as well! The truth of the matter lies in information accumulation. The young learn languages by directly linking words to knowledge that they are, at the same time, accruing. Adults, however, already have a certain amount of knowledge capital and can therefore build on what they already know.


Some methods, as well, can increase your language learning abilities. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Seek out an environment that facilitates learning. Language learners are often hindered from progress when they are not comfortable with asking questions, or being themselves.
  2. Listen. Today, the importance of observation is often foregone. Sometimes simply watching films in foreign languages, even when you don’t fully understand, helps immensely, my tutor once came home to discover her daughter being able to speak Mandarin through solely watching Chinese films and drama series on her own.
  3. Practice. This drives the development of proficiency and speed. Constant use of a language is needed in moving from the ‘translating first into your native language’ stage to actually thinking in the new language. Trying your hand at interpreting can help!


Learning something new can definitely be difficult, requiring much time and effort. You may want to think of it this way though, upon honing complex skills now, you are investing in a healthier future!

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