learn a language online

6 Reasons To Learn a Language Online

Ready To Travel Again? Get Started Online Today

The world changed drastically in 2020. But luckily, we humans are incredibly adaptable and creative. There is a lot to process about what is going on in the world. Practicing a language is a good way to take a break from the heaviness of the world while still staying engaged in cultural connection. 

The good news is that you can learn a language online and you don’t have to do it on your own! Even if you aren’t able to travel yet, or even if your country has decided to implement new rounds of quarantines, you can travel and immerse yourself virtually.

We think this is the perfect time to learn new or advanced language skills! 

Here are 6 reasons why you should learn a language online.

1. It will give you a deeper connection with the world

Traveling opens us up to new and enriching experiences. Viewing the world through our own lens is one way to understand it. Learning new languages gives us a bigger, more broadened lens with which to view and process the world. 

The world is a beautiful, magical place and learning a language from home will help you connect with new people, new cultures and new ways of thinking. The more you progress, the more you see that we are more alike than we are different. You will learn more than grammar rules and vocabulary—you will understand more about the people who live that language every day. 

Get this process started online so when you travel again, you’ll be prepared, confident and more open to connect with people in the places you travel. You’ll take your first steps into new places with a broadened lens.

2. It’s good for your brain

Taking care of our brains is as important as taking care of our bodies and our hearts. Learning a new language can be incredibly frustrating at some moments, but it is also exciting, rewarding, and full of “ah-ha” moments and breakthroughs. It turns out, these moments and breakthroughs are really good for us! (And actually, so is the challenge in getting to them.) 

How does learning a language improve the way our brain functions? 

There has been a lot of neurological research in recent years, studies of neural activity and the pathways traveled by our neurons, among other concepts. Neural pathways are connections, synapses between neurons in different locations in the brain.

The more we do an activity or think a thought, the more our synapses get comfortable in these pathways. Learning new things and creating new habits creates new pathways for our neurons to travel, which is good for the overall health of our brain.

3. It makes you smarter

Research shows that foreign language learning has a positive impact on both the white and gray matter of the brain, and that both short-term and long-term periods of foreign language learning may lead to changes in the structure of the brain, increased neural plasticity and reorganized neural circuitries.

Additionally, foreign language learning may engage an even larger brain network than other forms of cognitive training, like math problems and crossword puzzles.

4. Being bilingual is amazing

Bilingual people, whether they learn languages during childhood or as adults, possess better mental flexibility because they are used to adapting to constant changes and processing information in a more effective way. Learning a language is great at any age to keep our brains young, sharp, and flexible.

A new language makes our neural synapses fire across longer distances. It’s like traveling abroad for our neurons! So even though you can’t travel internationally yet, you can send your neurons on a journey, and get your synapses traveling longer distances. Get some new stamps on your brain’s passport!

5. It’s responsible media consumption

We are overloaded with constant visual and auditory input all day every day. Then, we are all seeing and feeling the pros and cons of technological connection. It is important to be conscious consumers of media and information and responsible users of technology. 

Learning a language online is the perfect use of your connectivity. It will help you understand what is going on in parts of the world that you may not see on social media or news media.

6. It balances input and output

It is also important to be intentional about how we balance our input and output. It is easy to sit in front of our devices for hours and receive only media input, but we need to create as well. 

Learning a language from home offers us a good balance of receiving information, or input, and creating output through speaking, writing, and processing.

Read our  top 10 Tips for Language Learning!

Ready to dive in and learn a new language? 

Take advantage of this time to stay stimulated, keep your brain juicy and active.

Be intentional with how you use technology, with how much input and output you receive and create. Stay connected, speak with people from different cultures.

Prepare yourself, mentally and emotionally, for the days ahead when you can travel again.  

And when you are able to travel again? Come visit our Spanish immersion school in Costa Rica! We are here at our beachfront campus, slowly welcoming students back to campus.

We are ready to welcome you, virtually or in person.

Author: Amy Schmidt
(Group and Volunteer Coordinator & Yoga Teacher at Intercultura Costa Rica, Sámara Beach Campus)