Why should I learn a new language?

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Why should I learn a new language?
Learning a new language is an achievement anyone can be proud of and it’s exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers many practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits. A wave of new research shows the incredible psychological benefits of learning a second language:
1. Learning a Foreign Language Boosts Brain Power
Medical studies have shown the positive effect learning a second language has on the brain. A foreign language is a whole new system with distinct rules, etymology, and meaning, which are just a few of the complexities of a language. Learning a new one puts the brain to work by recognizing this new language structure. As the brain works out meaning and makes full use of this new arsenal to express ideas, it sharpens its reading, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. The fact is, language centers in the brain actually grow in the process of learning a second language.

2. Stave off Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Knowing a second language can postpone the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 4.5 years. This is significantly better than the best Alzheimer’s drugs, which can only delay symptoms by 6-12 months. Brain scans have found a noticeable difference in the brain activity of bilingual seniors. Their brains work much more efficiently, more like those of young adults. Scientists believe these seniors’ brains have more reserve brain power that helps compensate for age-related memory loss.
3. Improved First Language
As we go about our everyday lives, we rarely give a second thought to our own grammatical structure and vocabulary. However, when learning a new language, many people find they have a greater understanding of their first language. Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer.
4. Boost Your Memory
We know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than people who are monolingual. The more the brain is used, the better its functions work. Learning a new language structure entails becoming familiar with vocabulary and rules, and applying this memorized information to communication. This strengthens your memory because your brain’s ability to associate information with mnemonics has been boosted, and it is better at retaining information.
5. Improve Understanding of the World
A language is a doorway to a particular culture. Learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of that culture. You will have access to a whole new array of film, music, and literature, and a greater understanding of the history and culture of the nation – and ultimately, a better understanding of the way the world works, including politics and international relations. You will be able to connect through books, TV, and the Internet and converse with a whole country’s worth of people, which broadens your horizons, interests, and views. A whole new world will be open to you.
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 The article was posted by: French Pod 101
 Original title: 5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

How to achieve your dreams

How to achieve your dreams
While “creating your dream life” might sound like a romantic, far-flung notion that can be achieved by only the most special among us, in practice, it actually takes a lot of pragmatism and determination. There’s nothing magical about building your dream lifeeven though some moments along the way might feel like theyre sprinkled in fairy dust. Any one of us can live the life of our dreams, no matter what our circumstances are in the current moment or where we come from. Yes, that means you too. The sky is the limit in terms of what you can accomplish, as long as you ground yourself in these five principles.
1. Shut out the white noise.
Have you ever noticed there’s a human tendency to dictate how things should be done, whether its losing weight, saving for retirement, raising children, or following a career path we’re passionate about? When we’re in the throes of putting ourselves out there in a unique way
whether that uniqueness lies in our process or in our ultimate goalit can be all too easy to fall into the Fear Trap of all of these shoulds and shouldn’ts “they” like to throw aroundIt’s especially scary when “they” are loved ones. Don’t buy into it. Your life is uniquely yours and you only have one shot to craft it in the way that feels right and joyous and fulfilling to you. No one has a better vision for your path or your future than you do, and it doesn’t matter how anyone except for you thinks you should live your life. The white noise simply doesn’t matter. Tune into your gut and listen to that because ultimately your voice is the only voice that matters.
2. Find your tribe.
Have you ever noticed there are certain friends or family members you find yourself wanting to hold back from? Or who leave you feeling deflated when you share news of your latest achievements or goals? Sure, these people might have a place in some area of your life, but they certainly don’t have a place in helping you accomplish your dreams. As you’re creating and chasing down your goals, share only with those people who leave you feeling enthusiastic, buoyed up, and newly inspired. Those friends who leave you with a buzz in your belly and a feeling of almost dizzying possibility? 
They are your tribe.
3. Remove the word impossible from your vocabulary.
You know what happens as soon as you believe something is impossible? It is.Notice the words you use when you’re talking about your future, your capabilities, and what’s possible
both those that you speak aloud to others and those that you speak to yourself through your internal dialogue. Create new habits, replacing can’ts with cans, have tos with get tos, and want tos withwills. This might sound like a small detail, but it’s not. The way we speak acts as a powerful form of reinforcement for what is and is not possible.
4. Put in the work.
There’s nothing magical about making dreams come true. At the end of the day, it requires a lot of good, old-fashioned hard work. Of course, if you’re doing what you’re passionate about and building the best, most exciting version of your life, this work will be the greatest possible investment of your time and effort. And it might not even seem like work
sometimes. The truth of the matter, though, is that at least sometimes it will feel very much like work. You will want to give up; you will wonder why you didn’t choose a less lofty goal. Sure, allow yourself to have those moments … and then keep moving forward.
5. Give your mind time to wander.
Yes, you have to put in the work. Hard work, most likely. But you also have to know when to stop. Our brains need time to let go, to relax, and to meander on creative little tangents. This requires unstructured time and space. I find that I get my best writing done when I’m not writing at all. In fact, it generally happens when I’m driving down the open road in the middle of nowhere without a destination in sight. This is when the words come tumbling out. And so I pick up my iPhone, turn on my Voice Memo app, and let them come as they will. Let yourself be free and just watch what happens. For you, this mental unwinding might happen in the shower, on a walk, or even when you’re playing video games. It doesn’t matter how you get to this point, it just matters that you get there.

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 The article was posted by: Nikki Van Noy
 Original title: How To Build The Life Of Your Dreams

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