As part of Brain Awareness Week, on Thursday 18 March, Dr Andrea Krott, Reader in Psychology of Language delivered the webinar ‘Does language learning make you smarter?’
Andrea studies the psychology of human language. Her early research investigated how we store and represent language rules and words in our minds and how children acquire those rules and words.
The number of children learning a second language at school in the U.K. has dramatically decreased in the past 10 years, even though learning a second language has many benefits. It broadens understanding of different cultures, improves literacy and employability, and is important for the UK economy. In addition to these important social and economic advantages, exciting recent research indicates that speaking a second language may be good for the brain. It appears to have a positive effect on a collection of cognitive and social abilities. Moreover, speaking another language may offer us a protection by providing a cognitive ‘reserve’, delaying the onset of dementia and supporting recovery from stroke. This talk presents an overview of the latest research on the cognitive and social benefits of speaking a foreign language.