Here are some remarkable benefits of a bilingual—or multilingual—brain
Until the 20th century, learning new languages was highly discouraged since it was considered a “hindrance” in a child’s intellectual development. Nowadays, it’s one of the most encouraged activities to boost brain functions.
Studies have shown that learning a second language is one of the most effective brain workouts that you can practice. The (mental) benefits include improvement of memory and increased connections between brain regions—resulting in higher cognitive intelligence. Speaking multiple languages also improves one's divergent thinking skills, training you to think of multiple solutions to problems on a consistent basis. It even fine-tunes your listening abilities. In the long-term, learning a language can fend off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia for up to five years.
Here is a list of language schools in Manila to apply to if you're up for the challenge.
The Study, 4th Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong and Enderun Colleges, 1100 Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
The Study by Enderun Colleges offers multiple languages in any level of proficiency including Tagalog, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, German and more. Classes are highly customizable and cater to the individual or group's preferred schedule and specific needs. Foreign language classes are both available for one-on-one and (open and private) group classes—the latter more affordable.
Classes are taught through an integrated learning approach with consistent use of the target language during class, visual and audio learning aids, Oxford University Press Language Learning and the Rosetta Stone Language Learning System.
Ayala Tower I, Ayala Triangle, Ayala Avenue, Makati
Instituto Cervantes is a worldwide non-profit organization highly dedicated to the teaching of the Spanish language and expanding knowledge of Spanish and Latin-American culture. Through language courses, students gain the necessary techniques of speaking, writing, reading and comprehension of the language.
In addition to language classes, students have access to the Miguel Hernández Library, which is home to more than 20,000 documents. It has an expansive (and updated) collection of Spanish and Latin American literature, which features multimedia—films, television shows and music—on the most important works of Spain.
Alliance Française de Manille, 209 Nicanor Garcia Street, Bel-Air II, Makati
With a variety of available classes and workshops, it's easy to learn the French language suited to one's preferences. Instructors are more than qualified in the field of “Teaching French as a Foreign Language;” the institution being the center for the DELF/DALF examinations—proves the French-language skills of non-French candidates—with the official diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education.
It's also easy to immerse one's self in the rich culture of the French through the Alliance Française de Manille Ciné Club, which regularly hosts art exhibits and other special events.
G/ 4F/ 5F Adamson Centre, 121 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
The Goethe-Institut offers German courses and exams in more than 90 countries. Language courses are available in Manila, online (group only) and in Germany. With state-of-the-art teaching methods, intensive support and highly qualified instructors, rapid progress is guaranteed.
More than 35,000 German language media are available for downloading from their digital library, the Onleihe. It houses German language eBooks, audiobooks, movies, materials for German language learners, magazines and newspapers.
4F Zeta Condominium 191 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati
SDA Manila aims to promote the study of the Italian language and exploration of Italian culture throughout the world. It is present in over 60 countries. Not only do they offer language courses locally, but they also provide short-term courses abroad—and occasionally, food classes!
Whether it's for career advancement, foreign studies or for pleasure, immersing yourself in a new culture by learning a new language—or two—is always a great idea.
Art Alexandra Lara