The last-minute panic that drives December’s Christmas sales is now upon us. For you too? You’re not a bad person for it. Even given eleven other months to prepare, most don’t bother until December rolls around. Whether for consumer electronics, jewelry, clothing or other holiday favorites, sales surges during this month. And with more products available than most human brains can calculate, it is also no wonder that there are plenty of consumers who suffer meltdowns in the middle of the mall.
If you are still wondering what you should purchase for the more difficult ones of your list, let the wondering be over! Sure, we may be biased, but we believe that there is no other present as easy or as thoughtful to deliver as the gift of language learning.
Not so sure though? Well, here’s our top reasons for why you should give the gift of gab.
You Can Penny Pinch or Splurge!
One of the wonders of language learning is that it offers so much flexibility in gift giving. Signed up for Secret Santa at your workplace and have a budget of less than fifteen bucks? Buy your colleague a Lonely Planet travel phrasebook and when she orders one of those piña colada in Spanish on her next Puerto Rican vacation she will raise a glass in your honor. Want to finally don your Lederhosen and join your beloved under a Munich big beer tent at next year’s Oktoberfest? Buy your Liebling a course in beginner German at a local Goethe Institute. Language learning is right for everyone on your list … and for every budget.
It’s Good for the Young’uns …
If you are the kind who would prefer that Little Johnny played with alphabet blocks and not the latest version of Grand Theft Auto, there are plenty of language learning tools to choose from that are catered to them especially. Flashcards for youngsters. Language laptops for babies. And much more. The best part about it is not the selection itself, however, but knowing that you are truly placing Little Johnny on the right track. According to data from the College Board, for example, language learning is strongly correlated to SAT scores and increase significantly with every additional year of language study. That is, Little Johnny will be thanking you later (much later) for entry into college later because of your commitment to a language learning gift today.
… and for the Mamas and Papas.
There is more to the appearance of youth than bench-pressing weights at the local gym and getting skin ‘treatments; with funny names. Keeping the mind ‘young and fresh’ also means giving your brain a regular workout. No surprise, language learning is an important part of the equation. In a report published in Neurology on a recent clinical study of 648 participants, researchers concluded that bilingualism alone accounted for a 4.5 year delay in the onset of dementia, whether the speakers were able to read and write or not, when compared to those who were monolingual. Sure, language learning is also a fun exercise, but who does not want a little more time to practice? Give the gift of more lifetime!
There’s (Really!) an App for That
Nielsen reported that U.S. smartphone ownership had increased to 60 percent of all mobile users, which represented a 10 percent increase in the first three months of this year over smartphone usage rates in 2012. Our own report that there were some 5,472 translator apps for iOS when we looked in July did not even include the non-translation related language-learning apps. Heck, it did not even include the other major mobile app platforms. If you have a loved one who appears to be going the cybermensch route, feel free to be an addiction enabler this time by giving an app as a gift (iOS) or giving an app store gift (Android). And, don’t worry, the good folks over at Here’s The Thing Blog even show you how.
Besides providing a special gift alternative to the typical ones of the season, giving the gift of language learning comes with a slew of benefits. That means that you, the gift giver, come off as being both thoughtful and wise. And who doesn’t want to be among the Wise Men of this holiday season?