Photo: Russell Monk [Getty Images]
It’s been said that alcohol is the world’s greatest icebreaker. But might it also be the world’s best teacher? Probably not, but recent research suggests booze does help in some educational situations, including speaking foreign languages.
British and Dutch researchers conducted an experiment, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology and it turns out, people in the study had an easier time speaking a foreign language after a low dose of alcohol, even when they didn’t think so themselves.
The study included 50 native German speakers attending a university in the Netherland, who were being taught Dutch. Half of the participates were asked to drink a moderate amount of alcohol before engaging in a two-minute conversation with an interviewer, while the other half of participates did the same but instead drank a glass full of water.
Shockingly, those who were slightly inebriated fared better in the spoken language portion of the study, while both groups scored similar in regards to grammar, vocabulary and argumentation.
“Future research on this topic should include an alcohol placebo condition,” the authors write, “to disentangle the relative impact of pharmacological vs. expectancy effects.”
This isn’t the first nor only study to suggest alcohol assists in language barriers, either, as a 1972 study also concluded that a small dose of booze assisted Americans’ pronunciation of words in Thai.
So forget Rosetta Stone, next time you’re trying to learn a new language. Just pick up a bottle of Jack Daniels instead.