The benefits and opportunities that come from learning another language

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Why learn French, Spanish or GermanThere are so many different languages in the world.  Learning another language might take a lot of effort but read on to see the benefits and opportunities that could come your way if you put your time and energies into learning another language.

Other Cultures will open up

When you learn another language, you are able to get an insight into that language’s culture.  You also get to see your own culture from a new perspective.  To be able to connect with another culture – through books, newspapers, TV, websites and, of course, through conversations, can give you a lot of pleasure. And you can share your own culture with others in their native language.  A new world of connection and understanding will be open to you.

Improvement where you least expect it

Educational research shows that results in English and Maths are higher for students who study a foreign language.  The reasons for this are varied: perhaps the study skills acquired and used for studying another language also strengthen study skills used in other areas; your ability to analyse and interpret information will be stronger and your knowledge of the grammar of your native language is often made clearer to you through explicitly learning another language’s grammar.

Employment prospects

In today’s global economy, knowing another language really gives you a competitive edge when applying for a job.  No matter what type of career you pursue, you will be more attractive to an employer if you have another language.  Those who have the ability to speak and use more than one language are more likely to be able to find a job which opens up travel opportunities and chances to exchange with others.


Learn a new languageThere might be other employment chances you have not even considered.  Perhaps you would be able to get translation or interpretative work as a summer or holiday job to use your language skills; maybe a summer camp programme would be more interested in a camp counselor with another language.  The possibilities are out there for you when you have additional language skills.

Travel and leisure

Think of the chances opened to you in the world of travel as a speaker of another language.  You will be a more confident traveler in the places where your second or additional language is spoken and you will gain a lot more from travel since you will be able to communicate with local people.

Exciting learning methods

Learning another language might give you the chance to experience more interesting and innovative learning methods.  You can learn a language through watching movies or TV in that language, through joining a conversation group with other learners, even through immersion and study programmes in the country where the language is spoken.  A range of diverse study and learning techniques are available when learning another language.

Which language should I choose?

When thinking about the choice of a second language there is no easy answer.  A lot of people have the choice decided for them because their school only offers one or two languages.  For those of us located in Asia, the choice of another Asian language seems a good one, since regional trade and other exchanges are a daily occurrence. Japan is a powerful economic power in Asia, so Japanese may appear to be a good choice.  Mainland China is often described as a superpower of the future, so Mandarin might be an attractive language to consider.  Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and opens up opportunities not only in Europe but also in Central and South America and possibly in the US.  The other traditional languages of French and German are widely studied in schools and Italian seems like a romantic choice when considering the rich culture of art and food that language might open up.

Whichever one you choose, learning a second language is an enriching and rewarding experience.

 

 
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