Did you know that the human brain “shares the control” of its activity? The left side is responsible for logic, reasoning, numbers and mathematics, whereas the right side of the brain is responsible for emotions and arts. That is to say, when you draw or feel emotional, it’s the right side of your brain that is at work. The language learning process is mainly conduced by the left side of the brain, nevertheless, it is the right side that “allows” us to realize that indeed we are speaking a new language.
In case someone feels like learning more about it, I suggest you read the book “Drawing on the right side of the brain” by Betty Edwards. My “knowledge” on this topic comes from this book. The writer explains how we are all capable of drawing and, indeed, we do it frequently during childhood. However, as we grow up, we let our rationality (the left side of the brain) take over our emotions (the right side of the brain). What happens is that the left side is faster and soon tells us: “No, you can’t do this any more and you are no longer a child!” I believe that the same might happen when we are learning a new language. The left side of the brain might declare that a given language is too difficult to learn and is not worth the effort. This is why you should learn a language you like.
There are certainly people who are more inclined to learn new languages, while others manage to solve difficult mathematical operations in a few seconds! It’s rare to find one person with both talents. Why? Because there are studies in the neuropsychology field that support the existence of eight different types of intelligence. These are: linguistic intelligence; logical-mathematics; spatial; musical; bodily-kinaesthetic; interpersonal and intrapersonal. This is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Usually we all have a little bit of each – as always, the more the better. However, there is always one kind that manifests itself with greater intensity. If you are a reader of this blog, I assume that your predominant intelligence is linguistic-related!
Unfortunately it is not possible to illustrate each one of the types of intelligence mentioned, but here are the characteristics of people with a predominant intelligence in linguistics: sensitivity to sound, rhythm and meaning of words, conveying ideas easily, both written and oral; greater ability to understand written and oral arguments and so on. Poets and writers are good examples of people with such intelligence. As are language learners, who learn quickly and love what they study – or teach if they are teachers.
If you don’t think you have any of the skills mentioned above, do not forget that it is the left and pragmatic side of your brain that is telling you this! Never forget that language lies in us from the earliest age, so yes, you can learn difficult languages, or perhaps, learn to draw. I guarantee that rediscovering the right side of your brain will be a pleasant surprise. I’ve tried it and recommend it!