Perhaps if I'd have known about his study sooner, I could have had a few drinks before my GCSE French exam to get an A+, because apparently, alcohol helps you speak foreign languages better.
Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Well, just grab that bottle of wine or beer before your lesson.
As language nerds, out of frustrations, we often turn to alcohol to soothe our language learning nerves. And as it turns out, that's what we should do to speak a new language better.
According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University, and King's College London, drinking wine or beer (in moderation) improves your ability to speak a foreign language.
Well, this may seem contrary to the established notion that alcoholic drinks impair cognitive-motor functions, including the ability to be attentive and remember.
Considering these functions are vital when learning a second language, we might expect alcohol would possibly impair the ability to learn and speak a foreign tongue.
But that doesn't seem to be the case.
The new study reveals that drinking low alcohol dosages, in fact, help your tongue loosen up. It's also known to reduce social anxiety, increase self-confidence, and lowers inhibition, which makes it easier to overcome hesitation and nervousness while communicating with another person.
The study was aimed to test what effect a low alcohol dosage would have on the participant's ability to speak in a foreign language. The experiment involved 50 native German speakers who had recently learned Dutch at a Dutch University.
These participants were randomized into a group that consumed a moderate amount of alcohol and a control group that wasn't given any alcoholic drinks. They were then asked to engage in a conversation with an experimenter in Dutch.
The conversations were recorded and rated by native Dutch speakers who weren't aware of which group had consumed alcohol. The participants were also asked to rate their performance based on how they perceived their Dutch fluency.
As it turned out, participants in the study really did speak more fluently after a low dose of alcohol.
After the study, paper co-author Dr. Inge Kersbergen, from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, said:
"Our study shows that acute alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language in people who recently learned that language."
"This provides some support for the lay belief (among bilingual speakers) that a low dose of alcohol can improve their ability to speak a second language."
However, the researchers also noted that drinking too much alcohol would have opposite effects, as it can reduce fluency as well as lead to slurred speech.