foreign language benefits

How Kids Can Benefit from Learning a Foreign Language

Metaphrasis CEO Elizabeth Colón recently visited Washington, DC as part of Language Advocacy Day, to bring attention to the growing problem of language programs being eliminated from schools in our country, and to try to help bring about a solution.   Nationwide, colleges and universities are cutting their foreign language departments, and only 1 in 5 students in grades K-12 are taught a foreign language – fueling a growing concern that young people are missing out on some very important benefits that learning a foreign language can provide.

 

The Ability to Communicate With More People

Many Americans believe that there is no reason to learn another language, thinking that most of the world can speak English.  Although there is some validity to this, it is not absolutely true.  English is not the most-spoken language in the world – Chinese is, followed by Spanish, while English comes in third.  Learning a second language opens up the possibility to effectively communicate with the millions of people across the globe, and in our own country, that do not speak English.

 

Better Understanding of other Cultures

Having the ability to understand another person’s language can also provide an understanding of their culture on a deeper level.  Language and culture are very intertwined, and studying a new language introduces concepts of the food, art, values and traditions that helped shape the language.  This provides a powerful opportunity to step into another person’s shoes and view and understand the world as they would.

 

Stronger Cognitive Skills

Research has shown that learning a foreign language can have a significant impact on the cognitive abilities of a growing brain.  It can improve the ability to focus and multi-task, as well as enhance creative thinking and problem-solving skills.  Studies have also shown that children who study a second language can actually become more proficient in their own native language, often scoring higher on standardized tests, including the ACT and SAT tests, than their non-bilingual peers.

 

Better Job Opportunities

In a competitive job market, it is important to have skills that make you stand out from the crowd.  Bilingual job candidates are in demand, especially in industries that rely on a lot of human interaction, as businesses need more employees that can serve customers in a variety of languages.  Knowing a second language can not only open up more career opportunities, but it can also boost a salary, as companies are willing to pay for this ability.

 

At Metaphrasis, we understand the important role language plays in our diverse society and we stay on the cutting edge of important topics like language education in our country.  Our professional interpreting and translating services are used in a variety of industries, such as education, government or healthcare, in order to ensure that the needs of every person, whatever their native language may be, are being met.  Contact us at 815-464-1423 or visit us online to learn more.

 

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Referenced articles here and here