You must read the July 15, 2014 Opinion by William Alexander in the New York Times: “The benefits of failing at French”
” Last year researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Northwestern University in Illinois hypothesized that […] the things that make second-language acquisition so maddening for grown-ups are the very things that may make the effort so beneficial.
“The quest for a mental fountain of youth, pursued by baby boomers who fear that their bodies will outlive their brains, […] has created a billion-dollar industry. There is some evidence that brain exercise programs like Lumosity and Nintendo’s Brain Age can be beneficial, but if my admittedly unscientific experience is any indication, you might be better off studying a language instead. Not only is that a far more useful and enjoyable activity than an abstract brain game, but as a reward for your efforts, you can treat yourself to a trip abroad. Which is why I plan to spend the next year not learning Italian. Ciao!”