Learning languages: Technological development vs Brain development

Day by day new resources are generated to learn languages ​​can our brains assimilate them with such speed?

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At the time of learning languages ​​there are different academic resources that can be used: puzzles, lists, comparisons, pronunciation exercises, etc. In addition, the technology allows some devices to collaborate with this learning in different ways : translation apps, chat rooms with native speakers, specialized headsets to translate in real time, virtual masters, etc.

The possibilities are really endless when what you want is to learn. The question is … Can we use them all? Are we able to do this? Do we really win by employing all the benefits we are offered?

There are, apparently, two dimensions that need to be addressed in this regard. On the one hand, learning a language has a part associated with the development of the brain itself and its ability to acquire knowledge; And on the other, the development of technology that can allow or favor this process. These two aspects somehow complement each other, but at the same time they oppose.

The problem, basically, is that in some cases this condition of complement between both dimensions can be lost and thus allow the supremacy of one over the other. When this happens, it is generally the dominant technology, which with devices such as simultaneous translation headsets eliminates the need to learn how to handle other languages, as this knowledge can be easily replaced in a matter of minutes. Although it may seem that in these cases all aspects of knowledge of a language are contemplated with technology, the truth is that this is not so and that some aspects of this relationship are lost .

Learning a second language involves learning to think in another language and therefore possess a more agile brain, capable of multitasking at the same time and concentrate better in the face of unexpected changes or situations. Technology, of course, can translate words from one language to another, but not meanings, not all of these internal processes that, by giving up typical forms of learning, would be lost in oblivion.

After all, we can expect technology to go so far as to facilitate the incorporation of new languages, but not to believe that it can replace the effect that this new knowledge has on our minds. Considering this aspect may give more value to the very importance of seeking to learn a new language by increasingly attending to traditional academic resources and avoiding technological shortcuts that could speed up the process but at the same time eliminate its most important benefits.

With a course or a headset you can achieve the same thing: to understand a language you do not understand. But at the same time, only with one of these options can you ensure that learning is permanent and productive for your life.

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