Language Advantage Inc. Language training in Toronto and Montreal
Language Advantage - French Spanish Manderin English training in Toronto and Montreal
Language Advantage - French Spanish Manderin English training

Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm M-F


Toronto ON, Canada

Courriel gÉnÉral

Language Advantage Inc. - On-site corporate language training in Toronto and Montreal including French Spanish Mandarin and English

Bulletin de nouvelles et blogue

septembre 2015

How to Teach Old Dogs New Tricks: Language and the Aging Brain

We've all heard the expression, "you can't teach old dogs new tricks" but thankfully that just isn't true. Neuroscience has proven that learning a new language, at any age is beneficial not only because you can claim to be multi-lingual but because learning something new as you advance in years is actually very good for your brain. Consider this quote from a NY times article "How to Train the Aging Brain" by Barbara Strauch, published DEC. 29, 2009:

"The brain is plastic and continues to change, not in getting bigger but allowing for greater complexity and deeper understanding," says Kathleen Taylor, a professor at St. Mary's College of California, who has studied ways to teach adults effectively. "As adults we may not always learn quite as fast, but we are set up for this next developmental step."

This tells us that the older brain is not only capable of learning new things but that it is better equipped to receive, incorporate and use new information more readily than a younger brain. This is good news indeed! As always though, there is a catch, you've got to "use it or lose it". The brain is a muscle that must be challenged and stretched to continue to be sharp.

Prashanthi Vemuri, a radiologist at the Mayo Clinic and Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota, has noted that "… (older) people who challenged their brains at least three times per week delayed the onset of cognitive decline by more than three years compared to those who did less." Cited from an article titled "Keeping the aging brain active may also keep it sharp" study by Kathryn Doyle

There are many ways to exercise your brain as you age. Reading, crossword puzzles, travel, mastering the computer are just a few things we can do that help our brains stay cognitively healthy and stimulated. Learning a new language though is one of the best mental activities that we can do to promote health in our aging brains and the benefit is nothing short of amazing.

Many recent studies are citing a correlation between the onset of dementia and bilingualism. Individuals who were raised bilingual experienced a later onset of dementia than monolingual people and this held true for those people who became bilingual later in life. A study by York University's Ellen Bialystok has shown that "Even if you don't learn a second language until after middle age, it can still help stave off dementia."

Learning a new language later in life in addition to keeping dementia at bay a little longer may also assist the elderly in memory recall in ordinary situations. Remembering people, places and things is easier when you have become bilingual post mid-life because to learn the new language you are actively engaging your memory muscle and once flexed it remains stronger as you age.

There are many benefits in actively learning as we age and even more when you decide to learn a new language. If you have embarked on the journey to learn a new language, good for you, stick with it - it may not be the easiest thing you have ever done but the payoff is unsurpassed. If you're considering learning a new language, go for it, you've got nothing to lose and much to gain.

In short, you're never too old to learn something new!

juin 2015

A Case for Multilingualism: The Professional Advantage

Fluency in a language or multiple languages other than your native tongue has many professional and personal benefits for the individual. These benefits range from enhanced multi-cultural understanding to the development of a sharper mind. However, many people are oblivious of the benefits of learning a new language which gives those who are fluent in other languages a huge competitive advantage. If you ask the average Canadian citizen if they can speak or understand any other language other than English, the answer is typically "No". There are many professional advantages to be gained by becoming fluent in other languages. Below you will find a few reasons that strengthen the case for the mastery of multiple languages.

  • Improved Employment Opportunities
    The ability to speak multiple languages is a much valued skill especially in the present globalized market. Businesses have become a melting pot of different cultures. Gone are the days when business was conducted and composed of homogeneous cultural and language groups. And, as we all know, good communication is the key to success, which makes the ability to efficiently and effectively communicate with more groups an obvious professional advantage. Multinational corporations have expanded their sphere of business into multiple countries and are always in need of employees who can work easily with teams from other countries. Thus, multi-lingual employees are in high demand.

    Corporate business is not the only sector which has high demand of multilingual employees. Government agencies, the travel industry, marketing sector, entertainment and publishing sector, public relations and entertainment are some other fields which give a handsome salary package to the employees fluent in more than one language.

  • Multilingual Pre-requisite
    There are many jobs that require multilingual employees and with increasing frequency the ability to communicate in other languages is a pre-requisite for the job. For example, leading advertising firms often have special job opportunities for those with fluency in more than one language. Some companies have dedicated agencies that cater to a specific language group. Also, there are a multitude of jobs in the government sector for which a command over any other language along with English is a necessary pre-requisite. These jobs may include foreign embassy jobs or a job within governmental departments such as the Council of Foreign Relations. A person with the ability to converse in multiple languages has the ability to earn a handsome salary as an interpreter or translator. The tourism and travel industries also have high paying jobs that are reserved for multi-linguals only.

  • Indirect Advantages
    There are other factors which indirectly affect your professional career and are favourably influenced by the ability to speak multiple languages. For instance, admission into college or university can be positively influenced by the ability to speak multiple languages giving the applicant a tremendous advantage over English-only speaking peers. Currently, most colleges and universities admission policies require that applicants have, at minimum, two years of high school foreign language instruction and the applicant who has obtained more than the minimum requirement has a much higher chance of acceptance. Academic institutions for higher learning consider the knowledge of a secondary or foreign language a must-have skill for every educated person. Moreover, there are some majors in arts, humanities, natural sciences and behavioral and social studies in which study of one or more foreign language is necessary to ensure success in the field.

Obtaining fluency in multiple languages pays off in many ways, not the least of which is financial. A multi-lingual individual gains a competitive advantage over uni-lingual peers and they have access to employment opportunities that the vast majority of people do not qualify for.

mars 2015

Tips For Learning A New Language

'Learning a new language' is one of the most popular and common new-year's resolutions. After watching an amazing foreign movie in subtitles, reading an English translation of a great foreign language novel (for me it was One Hundred Years of Solitude) and/or suffering from language problems on our travel, we often make resolutions to learn that particular language. But, after some days or after few futile efforts all of those resolutions are thrown out of the window, because learning a new language is very difficult. However, there are some tips which can make learning a new language a bit less difficult and intimidating. Here, are those tips.

  1. Conversation and practice
    The reason for placing this tip on top of the list is that I don't want to fool you in believing that there exists a way other than a great deal of practice in developing a mastery in a new language. If there is a tip that will surely lead you to definite success, then it is hours and hours of practice. Try to converse as much as possible in the language. For best results, select those who have better control over language for conversing. Initially, it might be awkward and embarrassing to do, but there is no other way that could help in learning quickly.
  2. Focus on quality
    It is the quality of effort you put in your practice rather than number of hours you spend on practice that will assist you in learning a new language. I don't mean to say that long hours of practice won't be beneficial in learning process. But, you need to put intensity and quality in those sessions. To add intensity to the session, make them bigger. The four hour sessions will be more effective than the one hour sessions.
  3. Carry a pocket dictionary
    Make a habit of carrying a pocket dictionary. And, nowadays you don't have to carry a paperback dictionary, you can install an app in your smartphone. Try to find a synonym of a spoken English word in the language you are learning. Every time you hear an interesting word, just open the app and learn its equivalent in another language. This habit will help you in two ways. First, you will find it easier to remember new words because of association. Also, this will make the whole process a lot more fun.
  4. Start with common words
    Some words are more widely used in conversations. So, before going for whole vocabulary learn those common words. By learning the common words, you can start practicing conversation earlier. This will give you a sense of achievement and will motivate you to work harder. Also, you will get to practice what matters most - the conversations.
  5. Mental practice
    Another important habit that can help you succeed is to think in that new language. We often have monologues in our native language running in our mind. Challenge yourself to have those monologues in the new language. Try to initiate fake conversations in your mind, just pick a random topic and start rambling on it.

printemps 2015

Dîners-causeries style "Bootcamp" - 12 semaines

Français – Anglais – Espagnol – Portugais - Mandarin

  1. Objectif : Fournir un forum interactif pour s'exercer régulièrement à parler et pour améliorer ses compétences linguistiques et ses capacités d'expression.
  2. Participants : Ce programme s'adresse aux participants actuels et potentiels. Nous invitons 5 à 8 participants de tous les niveaux (du niveau grand débutant au niveau avancé) à participer par groupe et par niveau.
  3. Aperçu du Programme : Language Advantage animera des dîners-causeries style "Bootcamp" d'une heure. Les participants auront la chance d'apprendre et de perfectionner leurs compétences linguistiques avec leurs collègues et leurs clients. À l'aide de jeux de grammaire et de vocabulaire, de mini improvisations et de présentations informatives sur différents sujets, notre programme contribuera à accroître le niveau de confiance des participants tout en s'amusant!