2020 has been a difficult year in many ways, but it has also offered opportunities for personal and professional growth and development. In this sense, Babbel, the benchmark application for online language learning, has been a useful tool for many. According to 97% of those surveyed by Babbel, learning languages has helped them cope better with confinement in 2020 and furthermore, 90% say they plan to maintain the practice for the long term. In fact, this has translated into a 232% increase in app downloads in our country in 2020 and 50% global business growth.
Learning languages was one of the favorite activities during childbirth. And, more than 75% of the people who decided to learn languages wanted to devote their time to their personal development and more than 1 in 5 did so to improve their professional prospects. In this sense, it should be noted that 6 out of 10 chose to continue improving in a language they already knew and, in contrast, 40% opted for a completely new language.
Containment was a stage in which it was easier for 81% to apply to language learning. Or because they had more free time, according to 41%; more motivation (31%); 16% less distractions or even because there were better learning opportunities (13%). As Dr. Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl, director of the Center for the Study of Language at Yale University, explains, “language learning activates a number of mental resources and bilingualism has been found to be helpful in curbing cognitive decline During a time of social isolation, learning a language can be a way to stimulate people’s brains to stay busy with the world and explore other cultures, especially when travel is no longer possible . practicing the language with others not only promotes competition but also connects people with each other. “
The importance of communication
If 2020 stood out for anything, according to 91.5%, it is because “we have learned to value more the bond with our peoples”. Video calls were the reigns (57%) although 42% consider that while digital communication is a good option for connecting with friends and family, 53% say they miss meeting people in person. In fact, in this sense, it should be noted that 72% find it difficult to express their emotions through digital media, although 61% admit that the conversations during detention were deeper than those they had before.
But it must also be recognized that confinement has united us, in a certain sense, since almost 40% recognize that this year they communicated more than ever with friends and family and, even friendships have been renewed, underlines 57, 5% because this whole situation has influenced us so much and in fact 82% of respondents believe this change in behavior will have an effect on the way people communicate in the future.
The truth is, there is no doubt about it, in 2021 we will have to maintain some new habits that we acquired last year. Respondents indicate that this year, they will continue to maintain their social distance (56.7%) or use a mask (61%), among others.
The way we work has also drastically changed in 2020 and the truth is it looks like telecommuting is here to stay. More than 60% of those surveyed would like to be able to telecommute this year to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle. In addition, due to the looming crisis, 57% will consider working abroad. And it is that, 38% of the people questioned are concerned about the security of their job in 2021 and nearly 30% would like that the new language which they learned be useful to them to find a new job.
All of this emerges from an international survey that Babbel conducted in two stages in December 2020: one with 10,000 Babbel users and another, via Dynata, with 8,700 non-users.