8 Benefits of English Language Learning (ELL/ESL)

A recent study titled: “The Contribution of Multilingualism to Creativity,” has proven there are many benefits for the brain gained through learning an additional language.  English Language Learners (ELL), as well as anyone engaging in obtaining multilingual abilities, were found to have eight mental benefits.

benefits of second language learning

1. The ability to communicate in a new language

The main benefit a person gains when committing to learn English or any language is the ability to communicate with the language itself and create connections with a wider range of the world’s population. 

2. The brain undergoes a change in electrical activity 

Before this study it was believed this change in brain functioning only occurred when students had obtained a high level of language ability in the new language, but this study revealed this change may occur at the earliest stages of language learning. 

3. “Superior memory function” 

Language learning showed an increase in memory capacities, this was especially strong in short-term memory.  This is a huge benefit because it allows the brain to keep information in the brain for longer durations while thinking processes are activated.

4. Increased mental flexibility

The article explains this keeps mental path ways “opened up” which allows a person to use “differing avenues for thought.” Language learning helps “exercise” the brain to keep it flexible and agile. 

5. Increased problem-solving abilities

A person also benefits from language learning by gaining increased problem-solving abilities in all of the following areas: abstract thinking skills, concept formation, creative hypothesis formulation, strengthened capacity to identify, understand and solve problems; the ability to focus on a task by filtering out distractions and extraneous information and an increase in multi-tasking ability.

6. Greater comprehension for how language works and is used

Language acquisition also benefits a person by creating a greater comprehension for how language works and is used. The study found individuals with multilingual communication were able to better read and interpret social situations, which improved their performance in social settings. 

7. Prevents the deterioration of brain functioning over time

The study reports that individuals who were multilingual had a decreased rate of 2 to 4 years in the development of age-related cognitive problems such as dementia. 

8. Increased ability in digital literacy

The culmination of all these advantages results in one last benefit: an increased ability in digital literacy. Because of these quickened mental abilities individuals which are multilingual have a noticeable ability to stay up to date with modern technologies.  Reading about this benefit reminded me of this quote: “Our intelligence tends to produce technological and social change at a rate faster than our institutions and emotions can cope with…We therefore find ourselves continually trying to accommodate new realities within inappropriate existing institutions, and trying to think about those new realities in traditional but sometimes dangerously irrelevant terms.” (War: The Lethal Custom, p. 441). Clearly having increased mental agility due to language acquisition helps the average language learners better stay adrift all of the technological and informational changes constantly evolving in today’s world. 

Pinterest Reference Guide:


Article:Languages Smarten Up the Brain

Study:The Contribution of Multilingualism to Creativity”



  • Carla Reyes

    English has taken over the world in recent years committing to learn our language is a necessary tool for many countries who are still using dialects. Progress, economic development require English proficiency. Leveling the instruction in English is necessary and should be encouraged

  • Your Golf Fitness

    ADVANTAGES: 1. will enable you to communicate with english-speaking people effectively 2. will enable you to understand the things around you written in English 3. you will not get lost in a foreign land (english, of course, is the international language) 4. most, i say "most" but not all, competitive individuals are able to speak English 5. you will be able to understand great movies in english language (lol, this one is just a silly answer but relevant, lol)

  • vivit

    why we need english? i think, english is very important to learned coz if you go oversea ,unlikely if used another language coz english is international language. so that we must study to speak english. well, i know learning of english is difficult , i also ever feel like tht, but after i often to learning, i'm become fluently speak. thanks ^^

  • Zohaib Hyder

    The most important benefit of learning English Language is to broadening employment opportunities, because English is considered as a global business language so, people who speak two or more languages are often ideal candidates for jobs mostly in travel & tourism and international business.

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Mar 02 2010

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