Learning a second language makes you smarter and delays later-life dementia, a recent study concluded. However, note that speaking in English is more important than having a perfect pronunciation. Have you picked the next language you're going to learn yet?
An English language program, a French one, Russian, Japanese… it doesn’t really matter: the most important thing for you is to learn a new language because it will boost your cognitive skills by itself.
A recent research developed at the University of Edinburgh tested 853 people in two very different phases: first, in 1947, when they were 11 years-old; second, between 2008 and 2010, when those people were already over 70.
The study concluded that the participants that were able to communicate in a language other than their mother tongue – bilingual - improved their cognition significantly, especially in terms of intelligence and reading skills, delaying the onset of dementia.
Furthermore, in case you're over 18 and thinking whether you're still on time to learn a new language or not, there's no need to worry: both the groups evaluated - the ones who studied before they turned 18 and the ones who did it after reaching adulthood - demonstrated the same positive mental health results. This means that your focus, attention and verbal fluency will still be benefited in the future.
Speaking of fluency, another research, this time from the North American institution Purdue University, revealed that pronunciation is not the most important aspect if you want to be easily understood by English native speakers.
The more fluent your speech is, with fewer pauses and restarts, the less effort they have to make to keep track of your conversation, the study suggests.
Using speech samples from 20 non-native English speakers, groups of English language natives assessed the speakers’ capability to be understood.
They discovered that regardless of the Spanish, Japanese, Chinese or French accent on your spoken English, even your native friends, with a strong British accent, will be able to understand what you are saying if you speak mor fluently: simply try to diversify your English, focusing on your vocabulary and grammar first, and the rest will improve as time goes by.