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Online Language Learning

How learning a new language fulfils seven of your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on December 31, 2012 by

This post in: French (Français), German (Deutsch), Spanish (Español), Italienian (Italiano)

It’s that time of year again: 2013 is on the way and you’re looking back and contemplating the year passed. As you’re taking stock of what worked out and what didn’t quite, you decide to use the New Year as chance to change for the better. New Year’s resolutions last little longer than the euphoric effect of a glass of bubbly. Often you take on too many changes at once. But at babbel.com, we’ve figured out a way you can keep at least seven of your resolutions….

Easy as pie. Learn a new language!

 

Some of the more common New Year’s resolutions of the 21st century:

1. Less stress.

One of the most oft-mentioned resolutions is to reduce daily stress. Now you’re probably imagining, what’s a Babbel language course have to do with a visit to the spa?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the psychological term “flow.” Flow means a feeling of being immersed in and concentrating on an engaging mental activity. From the bodily point of view, flow can be observed in the synchronization of heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.

Studying is often associated with tedium and stress. At babbel.com, the developers knew this from the outset. Their aim when designing the Babbel language courses was to integrate the learning process seamlessly. In other words, the idea was to make it so easy and entertaining that you learn effortlessly, having fun through measurable progress and a sense of achievement.

2. Be healthier

Studying is not the most movement-intensive activity, but it exercises that most vital of muscles, your brain. In a study, Swedish researchers at Lund University reported that learning a foreign language has a direct influence on the growth of your brain. Consistently learning new grammatical structures, acquiring new vocabulary and practicing pronunciation all have a direct impact on our capacity for memory. Other studies show that people who speak two or more languages are affected by dementia only much later in life, if at all.

3. Drink/smoke less

Engaging in a new and exciting hobby distracts you from other habits. With the money you save by not buying two packs of cigarettes a month, you can already pay for a one month course with babbel.com (see item 4).

4. Save money

A language course need not be expensive. Compared to traditional courses, language courses offered online are quite affordable and offer high quality content. But not only that. A new language can be learned through the regular reading of articles and texts in foreign newspapers on the web, or by watching movies in their original version with subtitles. This lets you save money to take a trip, for example, which leads us right to the next resolution…

5. Take a trip

Lack of incentive and motivation can make it difficult to follow through on your resolutions. In many countries you might visit English can get you pretty far, but for others you should definitely have a command of the essential words and phrases in the local language. It’s a great way to get to know new and interesting people.

6. Find a better job

A survey by the German Federal Institute of Education shows that one in three working people needs at least basic skills in a foreign language, and one in every six needs more specialized knowledge. “Depending on the position, additional language skills can always be an advantage when it comes to standing out from other applicants, especially with a slightly unusual language,” says Anne Seeanner, Public Relations Manager at Monster Germany.

Several studies in multilingual regions or countries like Canada and some U.S. states also show that bilingual people earn up to 20% more than their monolingual counterparts.

7. Help others

You also don’t have to learn languages all alone. With language exchanges (“tandems”) people meet each other and share their native languages. It’s that easy with resolutions.

In honor of these many resolutions, babbel.com is offering a New Year’s special. Between the 3rd and 14th of January there is a special year-long subscription price for your preferred language for €48. Just to compare, a standard 3-month subscription costs €33.30.

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Comments

This is a great way to look at New Year’s resolutions. There are the obvious benefits of learning a language but, like you mention, so many other good things that come from it, too. I particularly like your points about it making you healthier and helping others!

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