The prospect of language learning is very exciting. And the idea of simultaneous language learning is even more of a challenge! You probably can’t begin to explain how excited you are to start learning your two or more languages! Only to soon find out that your excitement might have been premature.
While learning as many languages as possible is vital to your personal development and career, there are also downsides to learning more than one language at once. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of simultaneous language learning and see if it makes sense to learn languages simultaneously or subsequently.
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Pro: Better and faster thinking
Knowing and learning more than one language at a time will drastically improve the way your brain works. This is because we are wired to receive data and interpret it in multiple ways – our brains are always multitasking. Studies have shown that people who learned more than one language at a time (simultaneous language learning) have noticed significant improvements in their everyday problem-solving.
While it may take some time to get used to, learning multiple languages can be very beneficial to the way your brain works in the long run.
Con: Simultaneous Language Learning Can Be confusing
Many people give up language learning altogether when they realize what they got themselves into. Learning a different language is a huge step forward for you as a person. And learning more than one at the same time can become confusing really fast. This is because different languages mean different ways of processing information, thinking, verbal communication, culture, and so forth.
No two languages have the same functionality in the real world, so you should always carefully choose which languages you will combine in your learning experience.
Pro: Less time-consuming
We all have a lack of free time in our lives, regardless of what we do for a living. That is why learning two languages at the same time can be beneficial to our time management. You can learn and do much more in a shorter amount of time than you would otherwise if you learned languages one by one.
Keep in mind that this also means that every language will get less attention than they usually would, but it’s still a good idea to consider. Learning more than one language at a time will take less time and force you to start managing your schedule better, making it a win-win situation.
Con: Less verbal communication
The truth is that learning more than one language at a time will also weaken your verbal skills. While you will learn a lot of interesting words and uses for your new language, you will also have the “tip of the tongue” problem regularly. Regardless of how smart or solution-oriented you are, using two or more new languages at a time can become confusing when you try talking with a native speaker.
Consider constant verbal exercises as a part of your regular language learning in order to avoid this problem as much as possible. Combining languages into one is the worst possible thing that can happen in the end. It will jumble your knowledge and leave you confused and disappointed that all of your work went into nothing.
Pro: Never get bored
Learning separate languages can be difficult and frustrating, but it can never become boring. Whenever you are tired of learning one language, you can always go to the other ones and freshen up your learning experience. You can also create exercises for yourself by doing simple paper writing exercises in order to train your brain.
The best possible thing that can come out of a practical language learning experience is to find your writing voice and actually use the language skills in something practical. Simultaneous language learning can never get boring or uninteresting, even when it gets hard managing more languages.
Con: More languages – fewer words
Polyglots are known to be able to handle any kind of situation when it comes to using their languages. However, these situations are often handled by using simple and short sentences that only convey the base of their thoughts. The truth is that learning and knowing more than one language will also lower the vocabulary you possess of those particular languages.
Even though you will constantly learn new words and learn how to practically use them, you will never be able to gain fluent knowledge of said languages. Our brains can only hold so much information when it comes to practical skills such as these, and trading words for language knowledge is something you will have to prepare for in advance.
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Pro: More opportunities in life
Regardless of how difficult it can be to learn multiple languages, the truth is that polyglots have much greater opportunities in life presented to them. They get more job offers, business trips, travel arrangements or simply get to know and talk to a lot more people than someone who can only use one or two languages.
This reason alone is enough to convince anyone to start learning new languages this very moment, because the more opportunities you get, the more chances you have of achieving your dream goals.
To Sum Up
When weighing pros and cons of simultaneous language learning, there are several factors we have to consider. Not everyone will be able to follow up on the pacing and intensity of language learning in order to make it worth their while. Any effort to do it otherwise will result in failure and personal disappointment, which is not a pleasant notion considering that learning should be a fun experience.
Everyone should consider learning new languages, but only if it makes them happy and content on a personal level – that way, the knowledge will stay with them forever.
Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas City who has been writing professionally for five years now. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. Find Janet on social here: Facebook