One surefire way to help delay ageing? Learn Gaelic

Steve Connor@SteveAConnor
Monday 15 February 2016 10:30

Slainte! Learning Gaelic can help to delay ageing.

Learning a second language can boost thinking skills, improve mental agility and delay the ageing of the brain, according to scientists who believe that speaking minority languages such as Gaelic should be positively encouraged in schools and universities.

Studies have found that children and adults who learn or speak another language benefit from the effort it takes to handle two sets of vocabularies and rules of grammar.

Antonella Sorace of the University of Edinburgh told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington: "Bilingual children tend to have enhanced language abilities, a better understanding of other people's point of view and more mental flexibility."

A study of retired people doing an intensive language course of five hours a day found improvements in other mental abilities.

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