In recent times, the expanding field of cognitive science has weighed in on what learning looks like and has had quite an effect on British education. According to Sweller et al (2011), learning necessitates change(s) in the long-term memory: “‘if nothing in the long-term memory has been altered, nothing has been learned”. This sort of thinking, that successfully ‘uploading’ pieces of information into one’s long-term memory constitutes learning, has become popular in recent times. I suppose it’s coherent with the dictionary definition. After all, how can we ‘acquire’ knowledge and skills if not by storing information in our brains?
There are so many reasons to learn a foreign language, not least for the communicative potential and employability language skills can offer. Nonetheless, foreign language learning has been on a steady decline in British education in recent years. With the world more interconnected than ever before, there has arguably never been a better time to learn a foreign language. This short article aims to summarise some of the lesser-known benefits of language learning, highlighting just how much there is to be gained from learning a foreign language.