Proven! Alcohol Helps In Speaking Non-Native Languages Better
Research shows how alcohol consumption helps in improving fluency in speaking foreign languages.
You can speak foreign languages more frequently with alcohol
- A glass of beer or wine lowers inhibitions and reduces hesitation
- Limited alcohol consumption helps in improving fluency
- Alcohol does not have an impact on a persons self-rating
People who dabble into learning a foreign language feels that limited amount of alcohol occasionally help them in speaking more fluently. Puzzled? Well, it makes sense actually. It has been shown that a glass of beer or wine lowers inhibitions and reduces hesitation and nervousness in people. Hence, it becomes easier for them to converse more fluently in a foreign language. On the contrary, it has also been proven that alcohol impairs cognitive function, impacting memory and attention greatly. It also leads to overconfidence and inflated self-evaluations.
So the question that remains is, 'Does alcohol really help in speaking non-native better or is it just an effect of liquid courage talking?'
In order to find an answer to this, British and Dutch researchers conducted an experiment which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The results showed that limited amount of alcohol actually helped people in speaking more fluently even when they didn't feel the same themselves.
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50 native German-speaking people were chosen to be a part of this study. All of them revealed that they had limited amount of alcohol occasionally and were taught their lessons in Dutch. They all successfully passed their examinations recently which showed their proficiency in the language.
Every person was asked to have a casual conversation with the interviewer in Dutch. Half of the people were given water to drink before the same and the rest were given an alcoholic beverage according to their weight. These interviews were recorded and then rate by two Dutch people who were not aware of the fact that some of the participants were given alcohol. Participants were also asked to rate themselves the same way.
Alcohol did not have an impact on a person's self-rating. Whereas, people who were just given water felt more confident about themselves and were very pleased with their own performance. The two Dutch people, however, rated the alcohol group better for better fluency and performance. Grammar, vocabulary and argumentation were similar in both groups.
Researchers also pointed out that only a low dose of alcohol would be beneficial. Higher consumption of alcohol would not show any benefits whatsoever. They also mentioned in their paper that high alcohol consumption would lead to the opposite effect, slurred speech and lack of fluency.
Because people were aware of what they had before the conversation, it is not possible to state whether the result was an effect of alcohol's effects or was it just psychological. Researchers also said that the results should be replicated in other groups as well to check if the effect is constant for everyone or is unique for German people learning Dutch.
The researchers did not measure the mental or emotional state of the participants. However, they stated that moderate alcohol consumption reduces anxiety and increases proficiency.