It Opens You Up To Tons Of New People
It can be hard to get started with learning a foreign language. Especially if youre learning by yourself! Sometimes, you might just be in a slump and cant work up the motivation to finish what you set out to do. This all takes a turn for the better when you start meeting native speakers and/or fellow learners of your target language. There are plenty of language exchange sites out there that connect you with people from all over the world who are more than willing to give you a helping hand. Take advantage of this and meet some new friends while youre at it!
Not only does knowing another language enable you to communicate with more of the worlds people and befriend them, but the practice of learning will also expose you to like-minded people. Youll meet lots of great people that you otherwise likely wouldnt have had the chance to meet if it wasnt for language learning.
Reevaluating The Importance Of Foreign Languages
- Post published:December 4, 2019
- Post category:CeLTA
This piece by Katherine Stark originally appeared on The Current.
Its no secret that Americans place very little importance on foreign language learning in comparison to other countries. Whether or not this is a problem for our country comes with different answers, depending on who you talk to. A Pew Research study found that the percentage of students learning a foreign language in school across European countries is at a median of 92%, while America lags behind at 20%. And if K-12 education is inconsistent with its foreign language requirements, colleges and universities are doing just as poorly. In a study of 1,100 higher education institutions in the United States, only 12% require intermediate-level language study, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. An MLA study further found that requirements aside, between 2013 and 2016, language courses at colleges and universities saw a 9.2% drop in enrollment. It certainly seems contradictory that even as our economy and social networks are becoming more global than ever, fewer students are studying foreign languages. Placed in the context of the racism and xenophobia that fills our current national rhetoric, these numbers have even greater consequences.
- MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.
The Importance Of Language In Education
With the world becoming more and more globalized, language skills are considered essential for enabling children to succeed in the future.
Thats why, aside from the national language, many countries’ education systems make sure that they include a foreign language component.
Learning another language is also important if you want to study in another country, especially when its for higher education.
While students can and often do study the language of the country they are in while they are there, it gives them a little edge when it comes to adjusting if they are already familiar with a language other than their native tongue.
It also helps them make friends and bond with their peers quicker.
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When it comes to the STEM fields, knowing another language specifically English is very important.
These fields use a lot of English terminology. Also, most scientific papers and journals are still published in English.
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Do American Schools Teach Foreign Languages
There is no one answer to this question as different schools have different policies. However, in general, most American schools do not require students to learn a foreign language. While some schools may offer foreign language classes, they are typically not required for graduation. This is in contrast to many other countries, where students are required to learn one or more foreign languages.
U.S. institutions of higher learning were ranked as the countrys top teaching institutions in a 2006 survey. Enrollment in languages other than English increased by 9.9% in general. In both two-year and four-year colleges, Spanish remained the most widely taught language. Arabic , Chinese , and Japanese (up 17.2% were the two largest contributors. Only one student in the first and second year of Arabic studied advanced Arabic, and every eight students studied first or second year Arabic. As a result of the combined number of languages spoken among all colleges and universities, the upper level classes at the top 20 colleges accounted for more than 20% of all undergraduate enrollment. There is a shortage of language professionals in the United States government, military, and intelligence communities.
Its Good For Your Brain
You might not know this particular perk of learning a new language. However, research shows that being bilingual actually makes you smarter!
Learning a foreign language at any age will help you learn new things in other areas of life. Learning a language is challenging, and that challenge can also assist you in learning additional skills. The more you practice the process of learning, the more quickly and efficiently your brain works.
There are many benefits for lifelong learners:
- Increased cognitive ability
- Increased attention span
- Greater self-discipline
Studies have shown that speaking a second language can improve your cognitive skills, even those that don’t relate to language. For example, according to a study conducted by researchers at Harvard University, babies raised in bilingual households were better at anticipating and responding to changes in their environment than babies from families that only spoke one language.
A University of Chicago study showed that thinking in a foreign language helps reduce biases in decision-making. Theres even research that has demonstrated that being bilingual can help delay the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimers disease.
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You Have Access To More Information And Entertainment
Perhaps the most fun perk to learning another language is consuming native media.
Youll have access to a whole new selection of music, movies, TV shows, books, news programs, podcasts, websites and more.
Of course, it takes time and effort to reach a level where this is comfortable. But theres plenty of multilingual content to get you started!
For example, people who speak Spanish and English can understand every word of the songs of Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Pitbull and other internationally-successful Latin pop stars.
It may take a while, but try not to get frustrated on your path to understanding. Consistency is key.
One day youll be reading or listening to something in your target language and suddenly realize that you understood it with no extra effort at all.
Why You Should Study A Foreign Language
Compelling Reasons for the Importance of Foreign Language Study
Exposure to diverse languages and cultures is a critical component of a quality education, and the benefits of language study are well documented in many essential areas:
- The study of language brings students into contact with people and cultures that are very different from their own, and in a way that encourages respect for diversity. This exposure lowers the barriers that are often at the root of fear and distrust of others. Thus, the knowledge gained from language study contributes to empathy and tolerance towards diverse peoples and reduces prejudice both at home and abroad.
- The study of foreign languages not only broadens students perspectives of the world, but also imparts a more profound understanding of their own cultures. Exposure to cultures with long histories builds a greater sense of the past within ones own culture as well.
- Foreign language study increases students skills in the use of English. Often it is in the foreign language classroom that students gain the greatest understanding of grammar and expand on their vocabulary. Learning the linguistic roots of language further deepens these abilities.
- The study of foreign languages enhances listening skills and memory, increases analytical abilities, and builds aptitude in problem solving and working with abstract concepts. It has been shown to enhance the study of other subjects. Abilities in math and English increase, and creativity grows.
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You Can Help More People
Studying a foreign language doesnt have to be all about you.
Perhaps its obvious, but speaking another language allows you to help more people.
For example, if youre a certified teacher with multilingual abilities, consider using your unique language skills to teach others. You could help out refugees in your home country, tutor students while living abroad or simply teach your friends and family the language you speak.
If you cant or dont want to teach, theres volunteer programs around the world where multilingual speakers are a particularly valuable asset to the team. Medical assistance programs, educational consultancies or cultural events are good places to find volunteer opportunities.
Being the bridge of communication between cultures is a great feeling, and the joy youll get from helping someone in need will make all the hard work of learning the language worth it.
Get Started On Your Language Learning Journey
Language a new language is so much more than meets the eye. In addition to the obvious benefits, there are so many more intrinsic aspects of various countries’ cultures that you would otherwise be missing out on. Language helps you in many more ways than youd expect, as this list shows, that are not necessarily limited to foreign experiences. You never know how a new language may change your life for the better, so it’s time to get started on your language learning journey today.
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Importance Of Language Why Learning A Second Language Is Important
Language impacts the daily lives of members of any race, creed, and region of the world. Language helps express our feelings, desires, and queries to the world around us. Words, gestures and tone are utilized in union to portray a broad spectrum of emotion. The unique and diverse methods human beings can use to communicate through written and spoken language is a large part of what allows to harness our innate ability to form lasting bonds with one another separating mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom.
The importance of communication is often overlooked. Despite our great prowess in communication, misunderstandings and mistranslations are commonplace. It is arrogant to believe that one can travel the world and expect all of mankind to understand his or her native tongue. In order to travel the world, whether for business or pleasure, a desire and willingness to adapt to new cultures and methods is necessary. Adaptability, of course, includes the ability to communicate with new people in various dialects. Being unable to communicate in a country is akin to living with a serious impairment it is very difficult and near impossible, to adapt and get along with new people if there is no way to communicate with one another.
From: Washington State University Why Study Foreign Languages
Important Of Learning Foreign Language
Important of learning foreign language Language is systemic sounds or symbol in order to communicate with other people. In a world that increasingly interdependent, we can no longer afford to remain monolingual. Success depends in large measure on ability of an individual to function as members of global village whose members speak a variety of foreign language. Learning language is no longer past time but it is necessity. Learning more than one language is benefits to us because learning foreign languages can help us in working or business, able to travel to a foreign country, foreign language as a secret communication.
One major part of learning foreign language is learning foreign languages can help us in working or business. If our work involves regular contact with speakers of foreign language, being able to talk to them with foreign language can help us communicate with them. It may also help us to make sales and negotiate secure contracts. Knowledge of learning foreign language can increase our chances of finding a new job, getting a promotion or transfer overseas, or of going on foreign business trips.
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It Improves Your Attention Span
With the human attention span seemingly narrowing more and more every day, according to many studies, deciding to learn a new language may be the antidote to this situation. Recent studies show that the average attention span of a person has reduced from twelve to eight seconds. Researchers suggest that learning a new language helps the brain maintain focus and block distractions. This is a result of regularly switching between languages.
When speaking, bilinguals or multilinguals are constantly switching between two or more languages in their head, and this juggling improves the brains ability to concentrate on one thing while ignoring other irrelevant information. As one study notes:
The need to constantly control two languages confers advantages in the executive system, the system that directs cognitive processing. These effects have been demonstrated primarily using visual stimuli and are heightened in children and older adults. Specifically, bilinguals, relative to monolinguals, are better able to monitor conflicting sensory information and tune into a relevant stimulus or stimulus features amid irrelevant information, via a process known as inhibitory control.
The Four Primary Skills Of Foreign Language Learning
There are four primary skills that are necessary for foreign language learning: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Each of these skills are important in order to effectively communicate in a foreign language. In addition, grammar and vocabulary are also important aspects of foreign language learning. Grammar is the set of rules that govern how a language is spoken, while vocabulary consists of the words and phrases that are used in a particular language. By mastering these skills and aspects of foreign language learning, students will be able to effectively communicate in a foreign language.
Learning and teaching are based on cognitive, affective, and linguistic principles. The following are examples of learning styles that are related to emotional intelligence: meaningful learning, automaticity, reward anticipation, strategic investment, self-confidence, intrinsic motivation, language ego, and risk-taking. As a result, the essay can be used as a guide for both English Learners and their teachers. To be successful in language acquisition, efficient learners must have the confidence to make risky decisions. This can be accomplished if one devotes an eternal effort to mastering a language that is beyond their capabilities. To assess the interconnectedness of language features, learners should heavily rely on their native language knowledge. Phonemic awareness refers to an individuals ability to recognize and navigate these phonemes in spoken word.
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What Are The 7 Components Of Language
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Language courses are divided into seven components to assist students in developing their language competency. Words, grammar, functions, reading, listening, speaking, and writing are examples of these.
Linguists have identified five basic components of language: linguistics, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. These skills are frequently acquired as children. The five parameters of American Sign Language, or ASL, are used to describe how a sign behaves when interacting with the signer. Language development is predictable. According to most studies, children in their ninth year of life typically acquire skills in the four areas. A language learning environment, developing listening skills and speaking abilities, teaching and extending vocabulary, and promoting auditory memory are all part of effective language instruction.
The Importance Of Foreign Language Learning In General Education
I have always believed that learning a foreign language is much more than just achieving proficiency in a foreign tongue. In addition to speaking a foreign language, foreign language education comes with acquiring a global perspective, cross-cultural communication skills and critical thinking. It is an essential component of general education and personal growth. I personally have been learning various languages for many years, taught foreign languages on and off for three years and continue to find excitement in learning new languages.
I was not satisfied with only English. I majored in Russian in college. I studied abroad in Moscow for a year. I went to the US to study Slavic literature. I studied a year of Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian as my second Slavic language. I found French was so important for the Russian intellectuals in the 19th century and I started to learn French, which lasted for two years. I studied Japanese for a quarter due to my personal interest in the connection of Chinese characters and Japanese kanji. I recently started German because I want to know more about German idealist philosophy. Phew! What a journey! Surprisingly, I am still excited every time I learn something new in a language.
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Foreign Language In Schools Essay
Foreign language should not be required at the elementary level because students need to focus on the core subjects, like math, reading, science and history. That is a lot for a young student to handle and expecting them to learn a language should make it more difficult for a student. The core subjects are more essential in everyday life and can lead to more jobs in the future. Students also might have trouble learning the rules of English along with another language. English and other languages have some similar grammar rules, so they could get them confused when trying to learn the grammar rules of English and learning another language.
Language And Your Future
A knowledge of multiple languages also expands your horizon for jobs. Careers in international businesses open up connections with people across the globe as well as chances to travel. Similarly, nonprofit organizations exist all over the world and serve a wide variety of people from different places many nonprofits are dedicated to serving immigrants and refugees. Whatever field you want to work in, there is always a need for those who can build new pathways to communication.
Studying a foreign language gives you a chance to communicate with people that you normally might not be able to, said Pickerd.
Professor Pickerd shared the story of a friend who had been having trouble communicating with some of his employees of whom English was not their first language. Pickerd shared some resources to help his friend learn Spanish, the language the employees were more familiar with.
Now was experiencing what it was like to try and communicate in a different language and do it imperfectly, said Pickerd. It actually started to build up his rapport with his employees and made him a more effective leader.
Because his friend had put himself in the position of his employees, he began to understand their perspective. It was a humbling experience and one that inevitably helped him grow as a person and as part of a community.
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