04 September 2018

How Polyglots Can Boost Your Business

benefits-of-language-learning

More than 60% of the world speaks multiple languages. As globalisation grows and our businesses are becoming more diverse, multilingualism is a skill increasingly in demand. The practical benefits of being able to speak more than one language are obvious. But, what are the cognitive implications? Research shows that multilingualism changes our brains in profound ways.

Matter Matters

Our brain consists of two major types of tissue, white matter and grey matter. Grey matter is responsible for muscle control, sensory perception, memory, emotions and decision making. White matter is the fatty tissue which allows messages to pass through the brain. The great news for multilingual speakers is that speaking multiple languages increases the volume and efficiency of both of these types of matter.

White matter which is thicker passes messages more quickly, allowing fast processing. The World Economic Forum has presented evidence which shows that older bilinguals and those who learnt multiple languages at a young age have the thickest white matter. This research also shows that multilingualism increases the amount of grey matter in the brain, making people who speak more than one language more capable of information processing, memory retention and more.

What This Means For Your Business

Investing in language learning promises to actually improve the brains behind your organisation. More effective white and grey matter means employees are faster processors with more accurate decision-making skills and better memories. This is a key strategy to improving business communication and overall results. Increased grey matter betters communication abilities, a key area for successful business. Similarly, healthier white matter allows for faster information processing. Multilingualism is a holistic strategy to develop skills which could be essential in building your business.

Better Multitasking Skills

A 2009 study shows that multilingual individuals are better at multitasking. The ability to process and retain multiple languages, regularly switching between them, is a skill which is transferable to many other situations. When under pressure, multitasking comes as second nature for people who are used to speaking multiple languages.

What This Means For Your Business

Multitasking individuals are a desirable resource for any business. Effective business communication, whether in a native tongue or a learnt language, often involves multitasking. The ability to solve complex problems and manage time well is essential for productivity. If multilingualism brings this about, then surely it developing language skills is a great strategy for your business. We’ve written about this issue before because multitasking is so important, and because multilingualism is such a rewarding way to build this skill.

Stronger Brains

Research shows that the ability to speak multiple languages aligns with stronger, more flexible brains. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is a frontal part of the brain which is responsible for motion formation, processing and learning. Multilingual people have stronger ACCs, because they exercise its functions more regularly.

The American Heart Association have conducted research which suggests that multilingual stroke sufferers are twice as likely to recover normal cognitive function than single-language speakers. Similarly, the onset of dementia can be delayed by as much as five years in multilingual individuals, according to this paper.

What This Means For Your Business

Every business wants high functioning employees. Multilingualism means that the brains behind your business are stronger and capable of handling more. It also means they are more flexible, able to adapt to changing situations and diverse tasks. More flexible intellectual skills means better business communication. By investing in developing language skills in your business, you give yourself and your employees a natural leg up.

Invest in Multilingualism

Speaking multiple languages is a great skill for the contemporary world. Practically, it allows your business to work internationally and provide new levels of service for more people. There are also more profound effects – multilingualism transforms your brain. By creating more effective white and grey matter, increasing multitasking skills and strengthening intellectual abilities, multilingualism is worth investing in for the sake of your business and your employees.

Business communication is a challenge for every organisation. There are many ways to train employees to be more effective communicators but we are convinced that language learning is a superior technique. This is because multilingualism physically moulds the brain and implements several key skills for business communication.  Get in touch with us today to find out more about our language services. Multilingualism is good for your business and good for your brain.

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Cognitive Implications of Multilingualism
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Cognitive Implications of Multilingualism
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More than 60% of the world speaks multiple languages. As globalisation grows and our businesses are becoming more diverse, multilingualism is a skill increasingly in demand. The practical benefits of being able to speak more than one language are obvious. But, what are the cognitive implications? Research shows that multilingualism changes our brains in profound ways.
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SIMON & SIMON International
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