How learning a new language can help during the COVID pandemic


Kyle Carney

One of the most common complaints about social distancing has been the lack of interaction we are able to have with friends and family. While social distancing and other safety protocols are helping to keep us safe and thwart the spread of COVID-19, it is also making some people feel isolated.  

Learning a new language can have a major impact on feeling connected and creating an atmosphere of interaction. 

A reason to speak 

An unintended consequence of social distancing and quarantines has been the inability to physically speak. People are spending much more time on their own, which is leading to less time speaking with other people. There are plenty of ways people are finding to pass the time – reading, gaming, television, cooking, etc. -- but nearly all of them require little to no speaking. This is one of the contributing factors to why many people are feeling so isolated. 

Conversation is one of the pillars of engagement. Learning a new language is a great way to actively converse without necessarily having to break social distancing protocols. As you learn English or learn Korean or learn French, you will be practicing out loud, meaning you will be physically using your voice.  

Achievable and trackable goals 

The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled or eliminated so many goals for 2020. Whether it was job-related, travel or personal, there are many people who have had to put off goals until next year. With language learning, you can set and track goals to work towards. 

This can help to keep you focused and active during these unusual times. The pandemic has caused many people to work from home and take on a myriad of new responsibilities. Learning a new language can give your life a balance and structure that can give you a sense of normalcy. 

Open new opportunities 

The ability to speak a new language can open a world of possibilities. This includes travel, professional and social opportunities. You can apply for new jobs, take up new hobbies and plan new vacations. You can also meet new friends and expand your cultural understanding to become a more well-rounded global citizen.  

When you make the choice to learn a new language, you are truly improving your life forever. It is a skill that does not fade with age and will be just as valuable a decade from now as it is right now. When the world does open back up and a new normal is realized globally, speaking a second language will give you a head start. 

Increase cognitive abilities 

The cognitive benefits of learning a new language are proven. It has shown to increase your ability to process information, develop complex thoughts and decrease age-related illness. In a time when there is so much uncertainty, learning a new language can help you better your overall life.  

It can be difficult to stay sharp and increase knowledge when you are forced to stay at home. It takes dedication and structure to plan activities that challenge you. In most cases, work is the place where many people get this challenge. With so many people working from home or currently furloughed, learning a new language can fill that gap. 

When it comes to social distancing guidelines, they are designed to keep us safe and to stop the spread of COVID-19 so that life can go back to some sense of normalcy. During this time, learning a new language is an accessible outlet to continue to progress and learn a valuable new skill. Online language courses have made it easy to learn from your home, so there is no need to feel bored or isolated. Instead, challenge yourself and gain a global perspective that can improve your life forever.

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