At a glance, the world around us today has a wide variety of highly developed cultures, societal customs, and linguistic skills for us to learn from and incorporate into our own lives.

If you’ve never thought about learning a second language, perhaps it’s time you start.

Not only will learning a second language open many doors for you in your career or social life, it’s a great add-on for traveling and creating new experiences. Being able to communicate with people in their native tongue is a gift. You can understand the culture, day-to-day activities, and find new and exciting ways to connect with people around the world. 

Most schools in the US require second language courses to graduate (have you ever wondered why?), and most colleges follow suit, but the learning shouldn’t stop there.

Some psychological benefits of being fluent in more than one language include:

1- an improvement in your cognitive thinking

2- an increase in the ability to multitask

3- a sharpening of the functionalities of your brain.

Communicating in different language systems can boost your problem-solving techniques, increase your intelligence, and make you a master on your own language and culture.

Knowing a second language allows your mind to “scan the room” and point out what doesn’t belong and what does. Like a detective, you start to ask yourself questions about your surroundings.

This ingenuity easily transcends into heightened cognitive and problem-solving skills that can be used anywhere. 

An add-on to the skill is it can boost your confidence because you have accomplished something out of your “comfort zone”. Learning a language is not just understanding grammar and vocabulary; it is learning new sounds, expressions, and ways of seeing things. While an expensive luxury, traveling opens doors for you to discover new places you never would have guessed you would enjoy otherwise (in my next article I will describe my students’ choice to move to Italy!).

Having a second or third language on a CV/ Resume is an important element that can make you a key employee in any job. People respect a determined and persistent individual, and as time consuming as it is to learn a new language, you must be tenacious in your practice to perfection. And one way or another, it always proves to be rewarding!

One of the greatest benefits of learning another language, and my personal favorite, is the exposure to better career opportunities. Whether it’s climbing the leadership ladder of your current career or opening the door to new opportunities, the possibilities are endless.

One more: Investing or buying properties in a foreign country. This is a huge risk if you don’t know the language, isn’t it? You’ll solely rely on the locals to steer you in the right direction and you can’t be sure the choices you make will be worthwhile. However, if you know the language, you can understand the system independently, and make your moves as you see fit.

Improving interpersonal and social skills, increasing your intelligence, and scoping out new career opportunities are just the beginning; there are many more benefits in knowing more than one language and below you can find a short list.

From: Auburn University – Twenty-five Reasons to Study Foreign Languages

  1. Foreign Language study creates more positive attitudes and less prejudice toward people who are different.
  2. Analytical skills improve when students study a foreign language.
  3. Business skills plus foreign language skills make an employee more valuable in the marketplace.
  4. Dealing with another culture enables people to gain a more profound understanding of their own culture.
  5. Creativity is increased with the study of foreign languages.
  6. Graduates often cite foreign language courses as some of the most valuable courses in college because of the communication skills developed in the process.
  7. International travel is made easier and more pleasant through knowing a foreign language.
  8. Skills like problem solving, dealing with abstract concepts, are increased when you study a foreign language.
  9. Foreign language study enhances one’s opportunities in government, business, medicine, law, technology, military, industry, marketing, etc.
  10. A second language improves your skills and grades in math and English and on the SAT and GRE.
  11. Four out of five new jobs in the US are created as a result of foreign trade.
  12. Foreign languages provide a competitive edge in career choices: one is able to communicate in a second language.
  13. Foreign language study enhances listening skills and memory.
  14. One participates more effectively and responsibly in a multi-cultural world if one knows another language.
  15. Your marketable skills in the global economy are improved if you master another language.
  16. Foreign language study offers a sense of the past: culturally and linguistically.
  17. The study of a foreign tongue improves the knowledge of one’s own language: English vocabulary skills increase.
  18. The study of foreign languages teaches and encourages respect for other peoples: it fosters an understanding of the interrelation of language and human nature.
  19. Foreign languages expand one’s view of the world, liberalize one’s experiences, and make one more flexible and tolerant.
  20. Foreign languages expand one’s world view and limit the barriers between people: barriers cause distrust and fear.
  21. Foreign language study leads to an appreciation of cultural diversity.
  22. As immigration increases, we need to prepare for changes in the American society.
  23. One is at a distinct advantage in the global market if one is as bilingual as possible.
  24. Foreign languages open the door to art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, film, philosophy, science…
  25. Foreign language study is simply part of a very basic liberal education: to “educate” is to lead out, to lead out of confinement and narrowness and darkness.

You can read more here: https://discover.trinitydc.edu/continuing-education/2014/02/26/importance-of-language-why-learning-a-second-language-is-important/

Contact me for info about my online classes (Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese only with native and experienced Tutors): valentina.caprio@gmail.com

Valentina Caprio

Benefits of learning a Second language

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