Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

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With the advent of globalization, the international society has begun to grow together and has exchanged values, cultures and even their languages. In such a scenario, learning a foreign language gives several advantages to a person. There is no right age for learning a foreign language, but the earlier years of education make it easier to learn and remember new things and provide students with more opportunities in the future. Some of the key benefits of learning a foreign language are summarized below.

Improves Communication skills

When a person gains more skills, their confidence is boosted. Also, learning a new language improves a person’s first language since it enhances the knowledge of grammar of their first language as well. This is one of the few positive examples of law of unintended consequences. A combination of better linguistic awareness and increased confidence, improves the communication skills of an individual.

Increases Multi-tasking Abilities

Various research studies have shown that bilinguals and multilinguals are better at switching between tasks than monolinguals as they constantly have to switch between two or more languages, essentially switching between two distinct structures. This makes them more amiable to multitasking and also allows better attention shifting.

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Scholarship Grants

Several institutions, local as well as international, provide funding to offset language studies and study abroad opportunities. Universities having significant foreign language departments often offer lucrative scholarships to students. Students can transform their skills in a foreign language into high-paying translator jobs. A student can also use their bilingual or multilingual skills to avail opportunities such as student exchange programs, summer schools, internships abroad, etc. It also helps students who wish to study abroad fulfill the mandate of knowing a foreign language which several educational institutions carry.

Helps in Travelling

Traveling through a foreign country is more convenient and easier if one has the ability to speak the language of that country. Using public transit is often a safer and cheaper option and one who can speak and read the language of that country and easily avail of its benefits. It also gives a richer cultural experience and one can have an authentic food experience. It allows easy interaction with people and increases the scope of meeting new people, making new friends, having more fun and enjoyment. 

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Increased Remuneration

Several companies have begun to opt for candidates with foreign language skills so that they can understand the psychology and the language of their foreign clients and communicate with them effectively. Due to this increased demand which every candidate cannot fulfill, candidates who are bilingual or multilingual usually, receive a higher pay in the job market.

New Career Opportunities

Having fluency in different languages opens up doors to several employment opportunities which would otherwise not be available to monolingual job candidates, for example, opportunities exist in marketing, advertising, banking, sales, customer services, communications, hospitality, tourism, governance, etc. It also gives opportunities to be translators, interpreters, editors as a full-time career due to knowing a different language.

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Decrease in the onset of Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Several research studies have found that since learning and speaking different languages exercises the brain and keeps it healthy, it could decrease the aging process of the brain. This consequently could delay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s, serving as one of the most beneficial advantages.  

"There's Always A Scope Of Improvement"

It can be seen that knowing one or more foreign languages can give an individual many opportunities and benefits. This brings us to the question on which language should a person choose to learn. For the best opportunities, one can learn either of six official languages of the United Nations, namely French, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, English, and Spanish. The easiest languages for English speakers are Spanish and Italian, then Portuguese and lastly French. However, whichever language seems the most viable to the aspirant or the one which the individual is most interested in, would ultimately be the best option for them.

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By: Debarati Pal

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