Learning second language can delay ageing of the brain, say scientists

Steve Connor:

Learning a second language can boost thinking skills, improve mental agility and delay the ageing of the brain, according to scientists who believe that speaking minority languages should be positively encouraged in schools and universities.

Studies have found that children and adults who learn or speak another language benefit from the extra effort it takes to handle two sets of vocabularies and rules of grammar.

“Fewer parents speak minority languages to their children because of the perceived lack of usefulness. Many people still think that a minority language makes children confused and puts them at a disadvantage at school,” said Antonella Sorace of the University of Edinburgh.