Benefits of Knowing a Second Language
Did you recognize that there are around 6,500 languages spoken across the world? Unfortunately, just 20% of Americans are fluent in a language apart from English, but I believe there is indeed a way out of this issue (Winke, Paula, and Tineke Brunfaut 7). Students do not even undergo a process of learning a foreign language before middle school, which is something I’ve seen at several schools throughout the United States, particularly mine, over the last couple of years. This would be tremendously useful if schools rather considered allocating more funds to the acquisition of bilingual education programs among grammar school pupils.
The benefits of knowing a second language are diverse, and according to Bubicco et al., successful people are those that are vigilant in learning something new to them every single time, and this ranges from a new culture to a second language (423). Recently the world has been globalized, and many advantages come with knowing a second language. The psychological benefits of knowing a second language include boosting one’s memory, learning a second language, especially in children improves their powerful working memory than children raised knowing just one language, this improves one’s attention skills and their multitasking ability. A second language gives a new way of seeing the world, for example, perception in colors in cultures like Japanese as well as making one sensitive to knowing different languages, and this happens when exposed to a language one has never heard before, children raised in bilingual families and differentiate these languages (Bubicco et al., 423). Dementia is delayed by people who know more than one language since bilingualism delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. An increase in self-confidence and better decision-making results from knowing a second language, and the more one communicates with a native language, the further increases their comfortability in using that language hence building confidence.
The social benefits of knowing a second language include gaining a new understanding of the power a language has, and through this, you learn that others may not perceive the world as you do, and through this, you learn more about yourself and, in the end, enable one to become an emphatic listener or communicator. Through learning another language, the linguistic expression of our native language improves, and one can distinguish differences in linguistics as well as the similarities. By learning or knowing a second language, it is easy to learn other new languages that are related to it for example, by knowing Spanish, and it is easy to pick up Italian that the person who does not have any idea of how to speak Spanish (Ożańska-Ponikwia and Katarzyna, 189). Knowing a second language contributes to international cooperation since it makes it easier to interact with other people from different cultures with different languages leading to an increase in international friendships. Knowing a second language helps one understand the nature of their own language since from interacting with and knowing a second language, one can understand and differentiate the rules and hence really understand your language since one will have a basis to compare the two languages.
The economic benefits of knowing a second language include it promotes job opportunities since some jobs require one to be conversant with other languages apart from their native language as well as it promotes job security since when one knows a language that is not known by many, but it is required for that job there is a lower chance that the person may be easily terminated from employment. Bilingual workers also have the chance to move out other geographical to areas where their second language is spoken to look for jobs. This implies that they have access to more job opportunities than people with just one language. A greater economic activity also results from knowing a second language since one can be able to trade the services or goods they offer with the two languages. In the 21st century, it is also easy to find a job since some employers normally prioritize applicants knowing a second language. Employers who know a second language also have a high chance for advancement opportunities in their careers and can be easily promoted.
The health benefits of knowing a second language include an increase in brain size, and this implies that larger brain size, such as the hippocampus, leads to an increase in memory. According to (Bubicco et al., 423), knowing two languages caused a delay in the progression of Alzheimer’s for about five years, and a more fined tuned hearing also results from knowing a second language; here’s a reason why, knowing a second language, increases one’s listening to ability, and hence the brain has to work hard to distinguish between two different languages. A lengthened attention span comes about as a result of knowing a second language based on a study done at York University by scientists, their conclusion of the benefits of knowing a second language was that people who knew a second language had better control of their focus than their counterparts.
Bubbico, Giovanna, et al. “Effects of second language learning on the plastic aging brain: functional connectivity, cognitive decline, and reorganization.” Frontiers in neuroscience 13 (2019): 423.
Ożańska-Ponikwia, Katarzyna. Personality and emotional intelligence in second language learning. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018: 189.
Winke, Paula, and Tineke Brunfaut. “Perspectives on “Knowing” a Second Language: What Are We Seeking to Measure?.” The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Language Testing. Routledge, 2020. 1-8.