At a certain point in their school careers, most students have to take a foreign language class. Whether they sign up to take French or Chinese, the idea of learning a whole new language may be an undertaking some pupils are less than excited about. However, these individuals might be more eager to try their hand at mastering a second language if they knew it could boost their IQs.
This is exactly what researchers from Sweden's Lund University believe happens when students tackle a new language. They arrived at their conclusion after analyzing data from the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, where students can master a new language in 13 months. While these individuals tend to have a talent for picking up a second language, they also study from morning to evening on a daily basis.
The researchers compared a sampling of Academy students to a control group from Sweden's Umeå University filled with individuals who studied hard, but were not learning foreign languages. It was discovered that those who were studying to become interpreters also experienced growth in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex portions of the brain.
Based on these findings, parents may be curious to see what effect their children's foreign language classes have had on their mental development. An IQ test for kids may be able to provide the answers they seek.