In a weird twist of events, a new study has shown that alcohol might indeed improve our foreign language skills…
A new study from researchers from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University, and King’s College London, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, came to these findings.
The group called upon 50 native German speakers, who recently took up learning Dutch (and were at equal levels), gave some low doses of alcohol and others alcohol-free drinks, and asked them all to have short conversations in Dutch.
These conversations were then recorded and rated by Dutch speakers, who weren’t aware of the alcohol and non-alcohol restrictions on the study.
The results of the study showed that those with low-doses of alcohol got higher ratings than those who didn’t consume any before the tests, especially in the fields of pronunciation!
One of the researchers, Dr. Fritz Renner, told Science Daily, "It is important to point out that participants in this study consumed a low dose of alcohol.
"Higher levels of alcohol consumption might not have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language.”
Dr Inge Kersbergen, from the University of Liverpool, said: "Our study shows that acute alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language in people who recently learned that language. This provides some support for the lay belief (among bilingual speakers) that a low dose of alcohol can improve their ability to speak a second language"
However, the researchers weren’t fully aware of why this helped in the learning of language, especially as alcohol impairs our thinking and motor skills.
Dr. Jessica Werthmann of Maastricht University, revealed, "We need to be cautious about the implications of these results until we know more about what causes the observed results.
"One possible mechanism could be the anxiety-reducing effect of alcohol. But more research is needed to test this."
So… a low dose might help improve your language skills when you’re travelling abroad, but be sure not to go overboard…