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Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning: Findings and Implications

By Professor Bencie Woll FBA and Professor Li Wei

Findings and implications of our project providing a systematic review of the academic evidence base, supported by fresh research on public attitudes towards language learning.

Language learning touches on everyone’s lives. Yet the cognitive benefits of language learning seem to be less well understood. The project Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning: Broadening our perspectives was funded by the British Academy as part of a broader initiative related to language teaching and learning. The project began in March 2016 and finished in January 2018.  

This summary defines the scope of the project and meaning of cognitive benefits, our findings, public attitudes to language learning and implications for future research. The reporthighlights where research findings apply especially to different age, gender and socio-economic groupings and to different types of learning experiences, and includes sign languages as well as spoken languages.

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