Language Learning Beyond High School French — Part 2


by KBS Senior Investment Associate, Sharon Kun

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” — Flora Lewis

If you are looking for a new challenge, why not try a new language? Modern technology has made language learning easier than ever. But beyond the learning aspect, learning a language has many unexpected rewards.

It’s exercise for your mind.

They say we constantly have to create new synapses in our brains and challenge them to keep them healthy, just like we work out our bodies.  Learning a new language is difficult because you have to think in different ways. After a day of work, going to class is actually rejuvenating; my brain welcomes the chance to stretch and be challenged in different ways. By the end of class, I might be tired physically, but my mind is buzzing with activity.

Learning is not constrained by time or place.  

There are ways to learn a language if you don’t want to or can’t take a class. There are many excellent books and computer programs available.  Aside from traditional book or computer-program learning, with today’s technology, you can find free websites or podcasts online to help you learn a language. Then, when you are more advanced, you can watch TV shows and listen to live radio from all over the world to see and hear what people are talking about in real time.

It is a gift that fosters a sense of appreciation.

I am constantly amazed at the human mind and its ability to retain so much information. When I challenge my brain with a new language and see how fast I learn it, or if a phrase I learned a year ago pops up at just the right time during conversation, it fosters a sense of gratitude for the miracle of the human brain.

 

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Sharon is a Senior Investment Associate in the KBS New York office. She speaks seven languages and hopes to learn many more.