If you’ve traveled around this world of ours – in continental Europe, in South America, in many parts of Asia – you have noticed that many of the world’s citizens speak two languages, and some speak three or more. In fact, there are more multilingual people in the world than monolingual.
Monolingual Americans – and if you are American you are likely monolingual – invariably feel a twinge of shame about this. In Germany or Singapore, Moscow or Rio, folks switch from their language to ours because it’s understood us backward Americans can’t switch from ours to theirs.
Rationale for learning another language.
Development of a global attitude-During their elementary school years, children are open to ideas of global understanding. Study of a foreign language and culture can serve as an important vehicle by which to expand their intercultural views.
Enhancement of cognitive skills-Cognitive development takes place when a child is faced with an idea or experience that does not fit his or her realm of understanding. The cognitive conflict becomes the catalyst for new thinking. Children who learn a foreign language are more flexible and creative, and they reach high levels of cognitive development at an earlier age than their monolingual peers.
Enhancement of communication skills-The study of foreign languages has also been shown to have positive effects on memory and listening skills.
Personal Benefits-Individuals who study foreign languages and cultures help themselves toward international and intercultural communication. They expose themselves to a global perspective, and enhance their career potential in the ever growing arena of international trade and cross-cultural professional exchange.
Why do you think it is important and beneficial to learn another language?
What language do you want to learn and why?