Learning a new language is an inherently scary idea. Thousands of unfamiliar words, an entirely different grammatical structure and the high potential for embarrassment are enough to intimidate many of us. With a busy work life, finding the time to commit to a new language can be a challenge in itself.
But experts agree that it’s more than possible to make meaningful progress in just one hour a day. Not only that, the skills gained from practicing a new language can feel like superpowers in the workplace and beyond.
Research shows there is a direct correlation between bilingualism and intelligence, memory skills and higher academic achievement. As the brain more efficiently processes information, it is even able to stave off age-related cognitive decline.
Depending on your native tongue and which new language you’re learning, you can develop a diverse toolkit of both short-term and lifelong cognitive benefits. Of course, the further apart the language the tougher the challenge (think Dutch and Vietnamese), but focusing on a specific application can drastically narrow the practice time.
Whether it’s for a new job, for literary competence or for making casual conversation, you can sharpen language skills no matter your age or previous exposure.