Language is a mode of expressing and conveying your thoughts across to others. Every person in the world automatically learns his or her native language or the one that is been used at home to communicate. But, along with this, you also need to be fluent in some foreign language that is spoken by a large percentage of a population across the globe.
The most spoken language is Mandarin if you go with the number of native speakers followed by Spanish. If you don’t take into account the native speakers, then English bags the first spot and the status of an international language.
Learning a foreign language has its own benefits – both cognitive and collective – in this competitive world. Having a working knowledge of global languages helps in multiple ways. Some of the benefits of having a foreign language in education are:
- It is a proven fact that those learning a foreign language have a better attention span than the ones interacting only in the native language.
- Those having a multilingual skill are often more engaging and lively. This makes them better with people in general. This is because they get a lead with communication skills.
- The students who have studied a foreign language in their school or college get better opportunities for higher education and employment arenas. A foreign language on a resume also reflects a higher degree of intellectual abilities and social awareness. There are many colleges where having learned a foreign language for four years or more is seen as an advantage. In career also, foreign language skills enhance the chances of both mobility and promotion.
- It’s not only the communicative skills that are improved by the study of a foreign language. The students also get to better understand the culture and society of the people speaking that language and the issues faced by them. When you can talk to someone in their native language, it always provides a first-hand account of things. This helps in understanding things much better. Speaking in the same language makes striking a chord easier.
- Learning a foreign language helps in initiating or improving the ability to step inside the context of diverse habitats and cultures. This intercultural understanding further cultivates the acceptance of diversity in students.
- The multilingual students celebrate and acknowledge the concept of diversity better. They are more considerate towards people surrounding, them which makes them more acceptable. This is because they can build a positive framework with people belonging to different cultures and backgrounds ignoring the differences between them. Bridging the gaps between cultures and promoting the ideas of international diplomacy comes naturally to them. They are also better equipped at recognizing themselves as individuals.
Learning one or more foreign languages is based on one’s personal interests. But, if it is included in the curriculum of schools and colleges, it would be better as then more children would have exposure to understanding the other’s perspective broadening their understanding.
The world is more interconnected than ever before and learning a foreign language will definitely help in adapting in it better.