INCREASE YOUR IQ BY LEARNING A LANGUAGE

in #increaseyouriq5 years ago

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Few subjects can stir the emotions quite so much as the one of Intelligence Quotient, known as IQ for short. Originally the IQ test was developed in France by psychologists trying to separate the lazy disruptive kids, from the ones with genuine learning disabilities.

Today we use IQ as a way to measure the intelligence of any given human being. It is generally accepted that anyone with an IQ score of less than 100 is dumb and anyone with one of greater than 150 is incredibly intelligent; perhaps genius.

As somebody with an IQ of 151 . . . Joke! The last time I took a test it was 134, I have scored as low as 125 and as high as 141, depending on which test I've taken.

I personally don't believe IQ tests tell the whole story, however I do think that they provide a reasonable guideline when trying to work out general intelligence.

I think the reason that IQ tests stir up such negative emotions within people, is that they represent a kind of competition that you're having with yourself.

Before taking the tests I have taken in the past, I have always had a figure in mind that I felt I should achieve.

Even though I love to think I'm unique and special; I'm fairly sure that this kind of thinking is anything but unique.

Therefore it is probably a good theory to explain why people get so angry about IQ tests. I'm guessing the further away a person is from their ideal score, the angrier they are.

I know this because the time I did score 125, I was certain that I was going to get in the high 130s. So instead of looking inside myself; I questioned the validity of the test.

A lot of this anger comes from the fact that a large majority of us, are very fixed-minded when it comes to our intelligence.

That is to say; we believe that once we pass a certain age our IQ is set in stone.

A large majority of us, quite wrongly assume that we lose our ability to become smarter passed a certain age.

This assertion, is demonstrably untrue, not only are we able to increase our intelligence from the cradle to the grave, we often do so without even realising it.

How We Learn

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Learning is simply the word we give for the process of acquiring a new skill via repetition.

Not surprisingly, when we do something over and over again whilst paying proper attention, we become confident enough in the practice to say; we know how to do it.

This exactly mirrors what is going on inside the brain, whereby certain connections between neurons are strengthened through the repetitive process.

The more connections a person has, the cleverer that person is said to be.

You can best visualise this process of strengthening connections, by imagining you are situated on a beautiful sandy beach.

Scattered along the beach are a selection of huts, inside each of these huts are people who want to learn from each other, however they have nothing to write with or on, and they don't have the internet.

The only way you can learn on this beach, is by walking over to somebody else's hut and getting them to verbally teach you whatever it is you're trying to learn.

Now imagine that you are in one of these huts, and there are two people you love learning from. So each day you walk from your hut to the first one. When you are finished you walk back home, and then make the short journey to the second hut.

Now imagine that you did that for years; as you can see, the pathway from your house to the two huts you enjoy learning from is well worn, and the grooves have been cut deep into the sand.

One day you decide that you want to go to another hut, unfortunately the pathways that you have made to your favourite places of learning are several feet deep, and trying to clamber out of them and over to some fresher sand is extremely tiring.

When you try and climb out of the deep pathway, you simply slip down to the floor. In the end you give up, because it is easier to follow a path that you have carved out so well, than to try and make a new one.

This is a fairly accurate analogy for what happens inside your brain when you learn something, and subsequently when you try and learn something new.

Imagine your native language as the well-worn pathways to one of those huts, trying to learn another language is like trying to clamber up to fresh sand to make a new path.

This essentially is why it is harder for an adult to learn a new language; harder, but not impossible.

Understanding The Structure Of Language

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Within the human brain, there are two main areas where language is processed. Named after the neuroscientists who discovered them, they are known as Wernike's Area and Broca's area.

In most people (circa 97%) these speech centres are located in the dominant left hemisphere of the brain. Up until fairly recently it was thought that language was completely homogenised within these areas.

However it has been shown that the right hemisphere does indeed play a part in the comprehension of abstract words and phrases.

The human race has evolved the ability to speak any language on Earth. Which one you eventually end up speaking will of course largely depend upon where you are born.

If you are lucky enough to be born into a bilingual household, then, through the will of your parents, you will grow up speaking two languages.

We can see that while bilingual children may develop their language abilities at a slower initial rate than their peers. Their comprehension rates are much higher than children with just one language.

This is a phenomena you may have even experienced yourself. If your main language is English, then when you were learning another European language, you may have found that your understanding about the structure of English increased.

Learning a second language as a child, creates indelible links to the limbic system in your brain, which is directly responsible for the processing of emotion.

Therefore a language learned whilst young, will feel no different from your mother tongue.

However all is not lost! You can still reap the benefits of learning a new language later on in life.

In a minute we will talk about the best ways to learn a new language; however first I want to talk about what you will get out of learning to speak a different tongue.

The Seven Wonders Of Language

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  1. Increase your IQ - By learning a new language you are teaching your brain how to recognise and negotiate meaning. These skills lie at the heart of intelligence, and they will help you to do the same for other more general tasks.

  2. You improve your mother tongue - Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language, from grammar, conjugations, to sentence structure.

This will highlight to you how language can be structured and manipulated. Which are skills you need when writing, editing or even constructing an argument.

  1. Become a better listener - It has been shown that people who are learning (or who have learnt) a foreign language show increased listening skills, as they are used to listening out for discreet sounds.

As above, listening is a key component when constructing an argument. The best salespeople tend also to be the best listeners.

  1. Become an expert decision maker! - This one is stunning, and if there hadn't been research to back it up, I may not have believed this one.

Research from the University of Chicago, by by psychologist Boaz Keysar reports using a second language reduces or eliminates certain biases that otherwise infiltrate our decision-making. Specifically, our aversion to potential loss.

So if you wan't to make sure you are making those correct crypto currency decisions; entonces hablas Espanol!

  1. Improve your memory - This is kind of obvious but it still needs saying. People who speak more than one language, also have more than one set of grammatical rules to remember.

It has been shown that the memory of bilingual people, especially when it comes to remembering lists, have better memories than single-language speakers.

  1. Increased perception - A study from Spain’s University of Pompeu Fabra revealed that multilingual people are better at observing their surroundings.

This makes perfect sense, when you're learning a new language you have to pay attention to minute, nuanced details. You are effectively giving your "perception muscle" a work out.

  1. Stave off Alzheimer's and Dementia - In some ways this fact is at first counter-intuitive. However it makes sense that a well worked brain, will deteriorate slower than an under worked one.

Many studies have been done in this area, the studies take in socioeconomic differences between subjects into account.

The results remain consistent, monolingual adults have a mean age of 71.4 before getting Alzheimer's/dementia. Whilst for bilingual adults that age increases to 75.5.

The eighth wonder - Learning a new language opens you up to new cultures. You will find that you have a new understanding, which ultimately can lead you onto a whole new path of discovery.

What's not to love?!

In the next article I will talk about different methods for learning languages, I will also talk about learning pairs, and how you can increase your retention by learning your chosen language along with another skill.

SO THERE WE HAVE IT FOLKS; WHAT ABOUT YOU GUYS, CAN YOU SPEAK A SECOND OR EVEN THIRD LANGUAGE? HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO LEARN BUT NEVER GOT ROUND TO IT? DO YOU HAVE ANY AMAZING LANGUAGE APPS TO SHARE? AS EVER, LET ME KNOW BELOW!

Cryptogee

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I know Spanish, my wife is from Guatemala so our kids are learning Spanish. My daughter also had the opportunity to start Mandarin in pre-school so we're looking to continue lessons with that as well. peace

I think it's great to get kids immersed in language(s) while they are young enough to absorb it without even trying. When I came back from living in Italy and met Italians my age living in England I was surprised how few of them spoke Italian. Most of them said that their parents never really taught them the language, which I think is sad. Mainly because when your parents are from a particular country, you are essentially giving them a free language, which opens up so many opportunities for them in the world.

their parents never really taught them the language, which I think is sad.

I agree; I am the same in that I was born in England, however my parents were born in Nigeria, I lived mostly with my mum as a kid, however she never taught me Yoruba; one of the main languages of the country.

It's weird, because I can actually understand a hell of a lot, but don't know how to speak it. I think I get it when parents do that. I think it's because they want their children to be fully assimilated and thought of as citizens of their adopted country.

It's a shame because it's a tonal language like Mandarin, and I think it could help me . . .

Speaking of Italy I'm surprised by how few of them speak other languages, I know French is very popular there because apparently it is very similar. I

Cg

That's a shame, I reckon it would be cool to speak a Western African language. Are some of the Western African languages similar or are they vastly different?

I think I can speak a lot more Thai than I can understand, so I totally get the fact that you can understand Yoruba but not speak it. That's a very common problem for Thai people trying to learn English as well.

Hopefully you can go back there for a while solely on an educational basis and take classes or something. If it's a part of your heritage then it would be very pride inducing to be able to communicate with people from where your ancestors are from. My mum was adopted, so there's half of me that is completely unaccounted for. I know if I found out I was half German or something I'd love to immerse myself in that culture and find out where I was from. I have Indian family (although I have no Indian blood in me) and when I went to India 7 years ago I was so excited to go back to where my uncles and aunties were from, even ringing them and finding out where specifically they grew up. It would have been even better to meet distant relatives there who didn't speak English and be able to communicate with them...

I literally have no idea! I don't think so, I've heard Ghanaian being spoken and I don't recognise it at all!

You're right about the heritage thing, especially as I feel Yoruba will die out fairly soon. Everyone in Nigeria speaks English, and I asked my nieces and nephews if they speak Yoruba to each other.

They told me that they only really tended to speak it with older people, and they kind of mixed and matched with each other, though mainly they communicate with English; a bit sad really.

Cg

That is really sad. It's nice that people can all understand each other, but a language is part of your history, and if I was Nigerian I would be proud to be able to speak Yoruba. Being from Watford I'm proud that I know a lot of cockney rhyming slang!

I only asked about the Western Africa languages because a lot of the European languages are either Latin, Slavic or Nordic based, so it would be interesting to learn if any of the Western African languages originated from a base form. Two years ago I planned on travelling counter clockwise all around Africa, and if I do ever go back to that plan it will be really cool to be able to throw a few local words at them and shock them!

It is sad you're right, I think when you're in the country you take stuff for granted :-) I love a bit of rhyming; well mockney at least!

I think you're probably right re the West African languages, but because I know so little about them I can't really comment. Though I can usually tell where an African comes from by listening to his accent when he's speaking English :-)

Yeah if you do go there, I can give you the odd choice word . . . although the weird thing is, the best language you can learn is pidgen English. It's weird, you can pretty much understand what they say, because it is broken English, however if you answer back in your normal accent they won't understand you!

I found this hilarious when I went to Nigeria the first time; I remember asking in a market "how much is that football?"

The guy stared at me blankly and looked at my nephew, who then said; "E gowan know ow mush de football eh?"

I was astounded that he understood that and not me, seeing as I could understand him! Big lolz :-)

Cg

My family are from North London originally, so I do find myself going full on London mode when I'm around Londoners. I'm even ashamed to say I sometimes throw my own cockney rhyming slang in conversations without realising. I once told someone that something cost me a Caitlyn Jenner, which earned me a completely baffled look...

It's funny how that works. I do that with Thai people now; a lot of the words are the same in English but you have to pronunciate every syllable and the tones are all over the place.
For example: SA-tor-ber-EEE!

I love that little anecdote, it genuinely made me smile. I once got an English friend of mine when we were drunk to say to the Italian receptionist at the hotel in Italian, "I want to buy your children, how much is the boy?"

most definitely (-:

That's so cool, Spanish is my favourite language and I speak it quite well, but definitely not perfectly. That's great for your daughter, I hope she has a good teacher.

My six year old took Mandarin club last year, however the teacher wasn't great, the work was way too hard and he didn't seem to do enough Mandarin-English connections for her. I mean, I couldn't even work out the homework!

Thanks for your comments :-)

Cg

Nice. I speak Brazilian Portuguese fluently, and a tiny, tiny bit of a few other languages (Spanish, French, Russian, and Hebrew in descending order).

I agree, there are some insights that are built-in to other languages! In Brazilian Portuguese, the word for "jungle" is the same as the word for "kill" (the conjugated "I kill"). Thus, built into the language is that the jungle is a dangerous place.

In addition, the words for "floor" and "ground" are the same word. This shows that as language began, they lived in houses without floors.

Aw man, I'm jealous! :-D

I love the sound of Brazilian Portuguese and I could happily listen to random conversations in the language, all day long. :-) After I have got more profficient (I won't say mastered!) in Chinese, I will move onto Brazilian Portuguese.

I know Spanish will help me, however I also know there are lots of similar words in Spanish that mean completely different things in Portuguese.

I agree, there are some insights that are built-in to other languages! In Brazilian Portuguese, the word for "jungle" is the same as the word for "kill" (the conjugated "I kill"). Thus, built into the language is that the jungle is a dangerous place.

In addition, the words for "floor" and "ground" are the same word. This shows that as language began, they lived in houses without floors.

It is this kind of etymology of language that completely fascinates me; I am seeing similar examples in Mandarin and I feel it really helps me understand how to structure the language.

For instance; 'er' is the word for two and 'chi' ten, so chi'er is 12 (ten and two) and er chi is 20 (two tens). Also the word for cat is 'mao' which when said sounds a lot like miaow.

Hopefully we can talk some more on the subject and you can give me some hints and tips for learning that beautiful language.

Cg

This totally true! I'm trilingual, and learning a fourth so I know what you're talking about!

Nice! What languages do you speak, and which one are you currently learning?

Cg

English..French..Arabic..i am learning germany languange..

Awesome; I'd like to learn Arabic at some point, because it opens up access to so many people and parts of the world.

I think with these languages you will find German easy to learn; although you can spend a lifetime trying to figure out the rules for; 'Der', 'Die', and 'Das'!

Cg

Chinglish is the best language.

Hahaha, I quite like Spanglish myself :-)

Cg

hmm Dutch , German, English , little bit french hated that teacher :)

Dutch is such a mad language! When I was in that job two years ago, I was calling Holland as well as Germany, and it just sounds like I should understand it, but don't!

Seriously, I can listen to two Dutch people and it sounds to me kind of like English, mixed with German, but I can't understand it!

I hear you about the teacher, my Spanish teacher at school was the best, and I got an A, my German teacher was crap and I got a D . .

Cg

ow!!
but they were very helpful at that time..

I've only taken an IQ test once, and I scored a 141. However I'm of a similar belief to you in the sense that IQ tests can vary depending on your mood, your mindset and the questions that you are presented with. I was on the ball that day so I would be surprised if I took another one some day and scored higher...

In relation to languages; I speak English, Italian and Thai. My Italian is very rusty now and if I hear Italian, more often than not I talk back in Thai. It never crossed my mind before that the way you connect languages and comprehending different thought processes can improve logic and in turn IQ, but there could definitely be some truth to that.

Unfortunately for me if anything I am completely burnt out, and at times I feel like I have genuinely become stupid as I find it hard to absorb information like I used to. I would be scared to take an IQ test now in case I get a painfully low score and my fears are confirmed...

However I'm of a similar belief to you in the sense that IQ tests can vary depending on your mood, your mindset and the questions

Yes, especially the questions; for instance I tend to be quite good at the shape and number questions, however some grammatical abstractions really get me.

I love the fact that you answer Italian with Thai! Perhaps you could work out a completely new language :-) I don't know who it would be useful for beyond yourself, but it would be fun. You could call it Thailian :-)

Unfortunately for me if anything I am completely burnt out, and at times I feel like I have genuinely become stupid as I find it hard to absorb information like I used to.

This is because of the sheer amount of info there is to take in; funnily enough I'm just writing a post on that . . .

Just remember intelligence is fluid not fixed; you can always improve on areas you want to :-)

Cg

I have been told I have a mild form of Aspergers (Although I've never actually been diagnosed, I researched it last year and a lot of the symptoms pretty much described my life while growing up...) and one of the things with that is I can intensely focus on monotonous tasks. So whenever an IQ question comes up with numbers or something that most people would feel bored about, I zone in on it and the IQ test tends to work in my favour in that respect...

Ha ha! Yeah, I tell people I speak Thai-Talian. It is embarrassing at times because now literally no one can understand what I'm saying, but hopefully a few people get a laugh out of it!

Thanks for the advice. I definitely need to improve on things like memory at the moment. It's good to know that I can make it as good as it used to be. I'm looking forward to that post, let me know when it comes out :-)

That's what I love about the human race, is even things that we consider to be ailments or handicaps can come in useful from time to time.

I really want Thaitalian to catch on :-)

I will keep you posted on the next article :-)

Cg

I love language and other languages and the amazing benefits make feel even better about my interest! I used to be bilingual but barely have my second language due to lack of use (for 25 years) and have wanted to polish it up again and now I have some concrete reasons why! My 2 fav reasons are: "Become an expert decision maker" and "eliminates certain biases that otherwise infiltrate our decision-making. Specifically, our aversion to potential loss." Both of these have HUGE repercussions! Thanks for an excellent read @cryptogee! btw, internet fixed?

Cool, what's your second language? I'm curious now :-) Yes there are so many benefits, I just listed the best ones here and there have been a lot of studies on the benefits of having more than one language, and they are all positive as far as I can tell :-)

Internet fixed yesterday; turns out the problem is linked to BT trying to defraud me . . I might make a post about it, not sure yet.

Anyway, it's good to be back!!!! Woohoo!!! :-D

Cg

French is my second language! I used to know Spanish quite well although not quite as well as French, but I never use either so they are pretty dormant unfortunately. BUT you've inspired me to at least brush up with an app. Even if it's only a little here and there it will be a good thing.

Interesting about the BT defrauding you, I wonder what they are trying to achieve...seems better to deal with defrauding head on, but I'm sure it's more complicated than what I see. In any case, glad you're up and running.

Yes brush up! Download duolingo, it's great, you'll find that as you go through the lessons, you know and remember far more than you give yourself credit for. That's what happened with me and German; it's all in there :-)

Yeah weird with BT, basically I discovered that they had doubled my line rental etc from £31 to £63 and then tried to say that they told me from the beginning (they didn't) and then I discovered loads of hidden charges, which is a pretty serious corporate crime in the UK.

I reckon they were just trying to get me to leave, once I'm not a customer, it's difficult to speak to customer services, and of course I won't have a case file.

Anyways, the guy is calling back to day and we're going to discuss compensation.

Without sounding too dramatic, these last 3 weeks have been extremely traumatic, it's like mental torture not having the internet. Especially as I have terrible mobile coverage, so when I'm at home I use Whatsapp to speak to people.

Anyway, back now; whoohoo!

Cg

I can imagine the feeling of torture...we're SO dependent on the internet that it's hard to live without it if you're trying to get something done. It's one thing if you were on vacation off the grid or something, but to go on with life and trying to accomplish your usual just seems impossible. Hope you get fully compensated from BT, they have certainly overstepped!

Wow! You can read 1500 words in 30 seconds! Please save your insincerity for someone else. I will give you the opposite of what you want. I will flag you and then mute you.

Cgee

For me learning my second language came naturally through listening to music then watching movies and playing games. comparing to my friend who learned his by attending classes, I learned a bit slower but I rarely had to check a dictionary. Hope I didn't spoil anything in your next article.😋

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