A study showed that bilingualism may delay dementia by three to fours years. This means you can add three to four additional years of life quality if you can speak at least a second language fluently. Being bilingual obliges the brain to juggle with words, patterns, sounds and structures from different languages, thus involving multi-tasking, concentration and brain flexibility at the highest level.
Switching back and forth between two or more languages may actually change the brain structure and lead to greater cognitive abilities. This is specifically what delays the coginitive decline that happens with dementia.
The question is whether bilingualism from birth is the only way to delay dementia or if an adult may contribute to the beneficial factor by learning a second language later on in life. This is not simple to answer but scientists currently believe that it all depends on the age that the language was acquired, the degree of fluency, the frequency of the use of the a second language and the accuracy of the grammar use.
Our conclusion is that it is never too late to learn a second language. It is also clear to us that taking a language class once per week is hardly enough to stop the devastating effects of any form of dementia.
Nevertheless obtaining fluency in a language is not an easy task. In between school, university or business meetings, there is not a lot of room for language classes. But there is no need to throw in the towel just yet. Consider one of the following 2 options that may really help you to become fluent in a language without .
1. Take online language lessons. You can take them from anywhere. Your home, the office, your hotel room, your vacation spot or basically from anywhere you can access the internet. In addition you are not stuck to the fixed programs of conventional language schools. In many online language schools, you can learn with teachers from all over the world. Schools can offer you language classes at any time and on any weekday, even on weekends and holidays. There are no limits!
2. If you don't want to learn grammar and vocabulary but rather lean back and learn by watching, how about watching TV shows and documentaries in a foreign language:
Watch French television: France2
Watch German television: ZDF
Watch English/American television: ABC
Watch Spanish television: RTVE
Watch Brazilian Portuguese television: Globo