How to Learn a New language: Drinking Alcohol Could Improve Pronunciation

How to Learn a New language: Drinking Alcohol Could Improve Pronunciation

How to Learn a New language: Drinking Alcohol Could Improve Pronunciation

Recordings of the conservations were made and each participant was rated by two native Dutch speakers who did not know if the individual had consumed alcohol or not. In fact, it'll probably severely impair your ability to speak English to the extent that English will sound like your second language.

The University of Liverpool, Maastricht University, and King's College London performed an experiment to determine the effects of low doses of alcohol on the ability to speak a foreign language.

But now scientists believe that drinking just one pint of beer can boost your foreign language skills, which is great news if you want to start flirting on holiday. "Given that executive functions are important when speaking a second (non-native) language, one might expect that alcohol would impair the ability to speak a second language", said a press release for the study. The trial included 50 students, all native German speakers studying at the Maastricht University who had recently learned to speak, read, and write in Dutch. Particularly affected are the brain's "executive functions', a set of processes that include attention, memory recall, or the ability to discern between appropriate and inappropriate behavior and inhibit the latter". It is thought that alcohol reduces social anxiety and increases self-confidence, both of which could be contributing factors in communicating with other people.

The volunteers also rated their own Dutch language skills during the conversation.

Overall, the team reports that the participants in the alcohol group received significantly better observer ratings for their Dutch.

The observers noted that the drinkers had better pronunciation compared to those who had gone booze-free.

Alcohol didn't have any effect on how the participants rated their own language skills. "Effects of acute alcohol consumption on self-ratings and observer-ratings of foreign language skills", is available in its entirety online. The doctors involved in the study stressed that these results were very preliminary and that the single dose of alcohol doesn't mean a whole lot. "Higher levels of alcohol consumption might not have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language". "One possible mechanism could be the anxiety-reducing effect of alcohol".

"It is important to point out that participants in this study consumed a low dose of alcohol", adds one of the team, Fritz Renner from Maastricht University. "But more research is needed to test this", she said in a statement.

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