If you’ve ever wondered if you should start learning a foreign language, consider this a sign that you shouldn’t wait any longer. Bilingualism is probably one of the most useful skills in the times that we’re living, and its importance is growing from day-to-day. Do you want to know what actually makes bilingualism important and how useful it can prove to be? Read on to find out.
Travel Becomes Easier When You Learn a Foreign Language
Traveling to foreign countries can be sort of a hassle, especially when you don’t know any words in the local language. Not knowing the language to communicate with the locals in the country you went will slow down the process of accommodating there. A few key phrases will make your transportation accommodation and the overall travel experience much more pleasant, cheaper, and faster.
It Can Improve Your Job Prospects
It’s a known fact that knowing a foreign language opens up a world of opportunities. Nowadays, a high number of companies and corporations are having their affiliations in many different countries around the world. But to continue doing business in foreign countries, they need to employ people that are proficient in at least one foreign language as they may be working with people whose first language isn’t English.
Even in small domestic companies, knowing a second language will set you apart from other applicants. Seeing how the job markets around the world are becoming increasingly competitive, why not give yourself an advantage by learning a second language. Being able to communicate in other languages makes you much more valuable to employers, and having that language advantage on your resume will definitely help you land that job.
A Foreign Language Helps Stimulate Brain
Learning a foreign language helps boost the brain in ways we haven’t even imagined. Learning a new language means you’re going to learn a whole set of new grammatical rules and lexis. Typically, the brain has to keep up with all the new complex information you take in. As a result, many developments happen in the brain. When we use the left hemisphere of the brain while talking in the native language, Just like the muscles on the body, the brain gets bigger and stronger, the more you put it to use.
It Improves Your First Language
As we already know, we pick up the first language by simply being surrounded by people who speak it. Education doesn’t impact you learning the native language, but it can help refine language skills. However, this isn’t the case with learning foreign languages. You start from scratch by being introduced to grammar, vocabulary, idioms, and sentence structure. As you go through the language levels, you become more conscious of your first language and all that you know related to it. Learning a second language helps you put names to all these abstract rules you couldn’t really explain before.
It Slows Down Cognitive Impairment
Besides many benefits learning a foreign language has on the lifestyle and professional life, it also benefits the brain. It can help reduce the chances of getting early onset of several cognitive impairments. The latest studies on bilingualism found that people who speak more than one language experience the onset of cognitive impairment like dementia four years and a half later than those who speak only one language.
It Boosts Your Confidence
One of the things that characterize language learning is the opportunity it provides to learn to feel comfortable with yourself being fallible. You’ll learn to accept that not every exchange will go smoothly; sometimes, you’ll make more mistakes while talking in a foreign language, sometimes you’ll make less. The comfort comes as a result of being put on the spotlight time after time. At one point, your goal won’t be getting comfortable while speaking a foreign language, but instead, you’ll be chasing the high that being proficient in a language brings. Like any other skill, mastering a foreign language gives you confidence and makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Once you’re there, the confidence will only grow.
The reasons why studying a foreign language is important are countless. Besides the many benefits foreign languages have, they also help break down barriers and connect people on a deeper level. This connection will lead to a more exciting and satisfying personal and professional life.
Diana Bajraktari is a writing enthusiast and loves to write about topics that tackle educational issues. As a former student herself, she spends most of her time writing about student experiences and personal development. Currently, she’s writing for the department of ESL Chicago of the University of the Potomac.