Updated: Apr 5, 2020
The best gift you can give yourself during this time is a new language. A new language, a new skill, a new challenge and new way of having fun. Languages have multiple of merits that can change your life.
Financially, people always look for a job with a high salary to guarantee a bright and comfortable future. Learning several languages opens up to huge job salaries. Research from Wharton and LECG Europe found that studying a second language is correlated with about 2% more in annual income. So if you want to apply for a good job with a good salary after this outbreak but do not have great credentials, use the time you have now to learn a new language, and that will add a lot to your resume.
Some people may say that learning more than one language decreases the ability of remembering and memorizing as their mind has stored up several sentences and vocabularies. In fact, you struggle with memorization not because your brain will explode due to the information in it, but rather due to the lack of mental training which reduces the effectiveness of mental function, therefore leading up to inability to remember or memorize. Dr. Neel Burton, a psychiatrist and philosopher says, “Language management calls upon executive functions such as attention control, cognitive inhibition, working memory, and analyzing the surroundings” (Psychology Today).
Learning languages helps alleviate the risks of having brain diseases. A research was completed by psychologist Ellen Bialystok and her colleagues at York university in Toronto recently tested about 450 patients who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Patients were evaluated and led researchers to conclude that patients who were bilingual had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 4 years later, than those who were monolingual.
I have had my own experience with learning two languages other than my mother language. Turkish and English are languages that enable me to remain in contact with people worldwide today by traveling and exploring new countries like Turkey. Continuing to develop my speaking skills have made a huge difference in my life, such as having high self-esteem, having a good memory and providing stronger social relationships. Also, it enables me to read books in different languages as I get to know more about the culture and history of the country and people that speak the language.
Try to learn a new language. Use your time wisely, think about the infinite benefits languages can offer you in the future. Take some courses online or you can even take it upon yourselves and learn it independently. You got this!
-- Written by Melak Ifrim