Learning a Second Language Essay

Language is one of the most important tools in our interaction with others. Without language, it is highly unlikely that the human civilization would have developed as it has over the millenniums. For most people, being able to communicate in one language is sufficient. This is especially so if the language is English, French or Germany, all of which are internationally recognized languages.

While it is true that one can be able to comfortably go through life with the knowledge of one language, the person greatly limits his/her potential. This is because there are many advantages to be gained from being proficient in more than one language. This paper shall argue that every person should learn at least one second language so as to reap the benefits that such an undertaking brings to the individual.

We live in a world that is slowly being turned into a global village as a result of advances in transport and communication. Through the process known as globalization, major integration of economies and cultures is becoming rife. In such a world, people are constantly being forced to interact with others who come from different cultural backgrounds.

While in some cases these people from different cultures share a language, there are many instances where there is a language difference. If one has learnt at least one additional language, there is a higher possibility that communication between the people from varying cultures will be possible. As such, acquisition of an additional language will assist in bringing about harmony in a multicultural society.

Scientific studies have proved that learning of a second language may result in the enhancement of the intellectual capabilities of an individual. As a result of learning a second language, a person’s performance in arithmetic as well as his reading skills is greatly increased. This improvement is attributed to the fact that learning a new language results in divergent thinking in the person.

The divergent thinking develops since learning a new language involves not only obtaining a new vocabulary but also learning a different manner of constructing thoughts. Considering the fact that a higher intellectual capability is desirable since it increases the chances of a person succeeding in life, everyone should learn an additional language.

Being proficient in more than one language can give a person an advantage when they are applying for a job. This is because an additional language increases the versatility of an individual therefore making him a greater asset to an organization. Some organizations specifically deal with clients who do not converse in English.

It will therefore be a huge benefit for the organization if it can have a person who can converse in the native language of the clients. Having the knowledge of an additional language can therefore result in the career development of the individual.

This paper set out to argue that everyone should learn an addition language. To reinforce this assertion, this paper has discussed the various merits that acquisition of an additional language can have to not only the individual but the society at large. This paper has demonstrates that learning an additional language can result in the creation of a more harmonious global society.

In addition to this, this paper has shown that learning a different language develops one’s mental ability making them better thinkers and also increasing the individual’s chances to develop their career. For this reasons, everyone should learn at least one second language.

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IvyPanda. (2018, May 17). Learning a Second Language. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-a-second-language/

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IvyPanda . 2018. "Learning a Second Language." May 17, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-a-second-language/.

1. IvyPanda . "Learning a Second Language." May 17, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-a-second-language/.

Bibliography

IvyPanda . "Learning a Second Language." May 17, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-a-second-language/.

These are the benefits of learning a second language

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In the US, just 20% of students learn another language. Image:  REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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There are many advantages to learning a second language. Some are fairly obvious. If you find yourself lost in a foreign country, being able to express yourself clearly could help lead you to your destination. Similarly, if your job requires you to travel you may find it easier to vault language and cultural barriers.

But there are other benefits that are not so immediately apparent. For example, learning another language could improve your all-round cognitive ability. It could help hone your soft skills, and even increase your mastery of your mother tongue, too.

Some studies have apparently identified a link between being multilingual and fending off the onset of dementia . Others indicate that being able to speak more than one language can help you become better at multitasking in other aspects of your daily life, too.

Deciding on which additional language or languages to learn is often a matter of chance and personal preference. Maybe you have a parent or grandparent who is a native of another country, so you were brought up being able to speak their language. Perhaps your family regularly took vacations in a particular foreign country when you were a child and that sparked your interest. Or it could just be that you had a very engaging teacher who instilled in you a love for languages.

But deciding whether to learn one at all would appear to be determined more by your mother language than anything else. In short, native-born English speakers are far less likely to learn a second language than many other people.

In the US, just 20% of students learn a foreign language . Meanwhile, in parts of Europe that figure stands at 100%. Across the whole of Europe the median is 92%, and is at least 80% in 29 separate European countries investigated by Pew Research. In 15 of those 29, it’s 90% or more.

Down under, around 21% of people can use a second language , although only 73% of Australian households identified as English-speaking in the 2016 census. In Canada, only 6.2% of people speak something other than the country’s two official languages , English and French.

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In the UK, fewer school students are studying languages to exam levels at ages 16 or 18. Since 2013, the numbers of studying a language at GCSE level – the end of secondary schooling examination taken by most 16-year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - have fallen between 30% and 50%. Scotland has its own exam system but the drop off in language study is comparable.

The UK has a long-standing tradition of teaching French and German at secondary school level, although not always with tremendous success: Brits are not famed for their multilingual skills. However, the popularity of both those languages has plummeted in UK schools. Less than 20 years ago, just 2,500 students were taking a language other than French, German, Spanish or Welsh – which is a mandatory curriculum requirement in Wales. But by 2017, according to numbers acquired by the BBC, that had shot up to 9,400.

Two languages that are growing in popularity in the UK are Spanish and Chinese, the BBC found. Chinese, of course, is the most widely spoken language in the world. However, in the online sphere it’s a close second to English. Online, English is used by 25.4% of people. For Chinese, it’s 19.3%. Both are way ahead of third-placed Spanish which is used by 8.1% of internet users.

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Why You Should Learn a Second Language and Gain New Skills

May 12, 2020

In The News

Why You Should Learn a Second Language and Gain New Skills

One of the most practical ways to make use of your spare time nowadays is to start learning a new skill. 

People who always succeed are those who are keen to learn something new every day - be it learning about other cultures or learning a second language.

At Middlebury Language Schools, we are strong advocates for the importance of mastering a second language. Both personally and professionally, being bilingual can bring you several advantages.

In this article, we will break down some of the benefits of learning a second language and why this skill is one of the most overlooked skills in the world.

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE !

Why is it important to know more than one language

We live in a multilingual world, where connections are now more important than ever. The world is becoming increasingly globalized and knowing a second language can always give you an unfair advantage.

There are tangible benefits to being bilingual:

  • It can help you in your career;
  • It can improve your memory and brain functions;
  • It can help increase your understanding of the languages you already speak.

A second language can drastically change your career. Living in an interconnected world means that more and more jobs are advertising positions where knowing more than one language is essential. 

As more companies trade internationally and create relationships with other countries, employees are often asked to travel for work, enhance these relationships, or be relocated abroad. 

Besides having more chances of landing a good job or advancing in your career, learning a second language can also give you an insight into other cultures. You will be more prepared and confident to travel the world and explore other people’s ways of living.

Lack of integration is a real problem for most countries. More often than not, this is due to the language barrier. People outside of their home countries end up being isolated, hanging out only with people from similar communities where their language is spoken. 

Learning a second language opens up the opportunity for being part of a community with a different culture, and learning more about the world around us. 

Did you know that being bilingual can also help you master your own language? For example, learning a new language with similar roots can help you learn other languages as well. Take Spanish , Italian , and French from one summer to the next!

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR LANGUAGE PROGRAMS !

What are the benefits of learning a second language

As mentioned before, learning a new language is a wonderful benefit in a globalized world. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of learning a second language.

1. It improves your memory

The more you use your brain to learn new skills, the more your brain’s functions work. Learning a new language pushes your brain to get familiar with new grammar and vocabulary rules. It allows you to train your memory to remember new words, make connections between them, and use them in contextual situations.

2. Enhances your ability to multitask

Time management and multitasking are two skills that will always help you. Multilingual people have the ability to switch between languages. Their ability to think in different languages and be able to communicate in more than one language helps with multitasking.

3. Improves your performance in other academic areas 

Fully immersing yourself in a language learning environment means not only learning the basics of that language. It means learning how to communicate in another language with your peers or participating in extracurricular activities in that specific language. 

Take2

What languages are the most useful to learn? Middlebury Language Schools recommends 3 of our 13 languages

Since 1915, Middlebury Language Schools has been one of the nation’s preeminent language learning programs. 

Whether you’re a beginning language learner or working toward an advanced degree, our time-tested programs offer a range of options and opportunities.

Taking the Language Pledge at Middlebury Language Schools means committing to communicate only in the language of your choice for the duration of the program. You will live, play, and learn in a 24/7 environment. 

We offer a wide range of languages you can choose from. Here are just a few of the languages we offer.

Due to many geopolitical reasons, the Russian language is not very closely related to English. It is a very challenging language to learn, with complex grammar and syntax rules. However, it is an extremely culturally and politically relevant language. 

At the School of Russian , you can experience the most effective method for rapid language acquisition. An immersion environment is a promise that you will read, write, speak, and listen only in Russian throughout the duration of the program. Some of the benefits of learning Russian at Middlebury Language Schools include interpreting poetry, learning about the culture, and mastering the Russian etiquette.

LEARN RUSSIAN !

Arabic has been one of our most popular languages. It is a high demand language because it can get you ahead in a government career, but also give you endless opportunities in business and international relations. 

Arabic is spoken by more than 300 million people and is one of the top 5 most spoken languages in the world. Learning Arabic as a second language can help you learn about the Arabic culture and religion. It not only gives you opportunities to expand your connections, but also offers great travel opportunities. 

A summer at the Arabic School will help you experience the immersive environment on campus. At Middlebury Language Schools, the focus is on Modern Standard Arabic, with optional Arabic language classes in dialects such as Egyptian, Syrian and Moroccan.

Check out our Arabic graduate programs and Arabic 8-week immersion program for more information.

LEARN ARABIC !

A lot of people agree that Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn, due to the fact that you read words as they are written. Spanish is the most spoken language in the world after English and is used by more than 400 million people. 

Spanish skills can be a strong asset for communicating and creating relationships not only in Spain, but also in Latin America. 

At the Middlebury School of Spanish , you can engage your mind with topics of interest, from Spanish history to arts and cooking. 

Ready to learn Spanish? Check out Middlebury Language Schools’ 7-week immersion program or the graduate programs .

LEARN SPANISH !

Reminders on why you should learn a second language now

We have broken down the benefits of learning a second language and becoming bilingual in a highly globalized world. 

The truth is, learning new skills every day enhances all aspects of your life. By learning new skills, you can increase your career opportunities, find out more about the world around you, and be a better person overall.

We highly encourage you to start learning a new language as early in your life as possible. However, you are never too old to learn! The world moves fast, and we must keep up with the changes - by developing new skills, learning more about ourselves, and also, learning a new language!

ENROLL NOW !

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The Benefits of Multilingualism to the Personal and Professional Development of Residents of The US

Judith f. kroll.

University of California, Riverside

Paola E. Dussias

Pennsylvania State University

Paola E. Dussias (PhD, University of Arizona) is Professor of Spanish, Linguistics, and Psychology and Head of the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

In the past two decades, new research on multilingualism has changed our understanding of the consequences of learning and using two or more languages for cognition, for the brain, and for success and well-being across the entire lifespan. Far from the stereotype that exposure to multiple languages in infancy complicates language and cognitive development, the new findings suggest that individuals benefit from that exposure, with greater openness to other languages and to new learning itself. At the other end of the lifespan, in old age, the active use of two or more languages appears to provide protection against cognitive decline. That protection is seen in healthy aging and most dramatically in compensating for the symptoms of pathology in those who develop dementia or are recovering from stroke. In this article we briefly review the most exciting of these new research developments and consider their implications.

Although most of the world is multilingual, the use of two or more languages in the United States has historically been marked as a complicating factor rather than a benefit. Attitudes toward languages other than English have been confounded with attitudes toward immigration and cultural diversity, resulting in a wealth of mythology surrounding language learning and language use. The assumption of English as the only language, or the majority language, in the United States has helped promote the belief that acquiring a second language as an adult is an impossible task that can be accomplished successfully only by the few who possess a special talent for language learning. Likewise, although young children appear to be able to acquire multiple languages easily, it has often been assumed that introducing a second language too early during infancy will produce confusion and cause irrevocable damage to the child’s language and cognitive development. It has also been suggested that language mixing or language switching among proficient speakers of two or more languages when they converse with others who are similarly proficient is a sign of pathology or incomplete language ability. These and other attitudes toward and views of multilingualism in the United States have affected not only public perceptions, but also those of educators and scientists.

However, accumulating data have shown that the assumptions and attitudes that have been prevalent historically are in fact myths: 1 Far from being a complication, research has shown that multilingualism provides benefits to individuals at all points along the lifespan, from the youngest infants and children, to young adults, and to older adults who may be facing cognitive decline ( Bialystok, Craik, & Luk, 2012 ). Young babies are not confused by hearing two or more languages but develop the ability to discriminate among the languages they hear; they are more open to new language learning than their monolingually exposed counterparts ( Petitto et al., 2012 ). Adult learners who are well past early childhood have been shown to be able to acquire sensitivity to the grammar of a second language despite their age ( Morgan-Short, Steinhauer, Sanz, & Ullman, 2012 ). As for language mixing, code-switching is a common feature of bilingual discourse, is rule governed, and reflects a sophisticated cognitive strategy that enables listeners to exploit the features of bilingual speech as speech is produced ( Fricke, Kroll, & Dussias, 2016 ). Taken together, a growing set of research discoveries in the last two decades provides compelling evidence to reverse the older false beliefs about multilingualism. For language scientists, the multilingual speaker is now seen as a model for understanding the way that language experience shapes the mind and the brain ( Kroll, Dussias, Bice, & Perrotti, 2015 ). 2

How then does language experience shape the brain? First, studies have shown that the brain has far greater plasticity throughout the lifespan than previously understood. Life experience at all ages has consequences for cognition and for both the structure and function of the brain. As an important aspect of life experience, language use reveals these consequences ( Baum & Titone, 2014 ). Contrary to the view that the brain evolved to speak one language only, the evidence suggests that two or more languages coexist in the same brain networks, each language activating the other even when only one of the languages is in use. One might think that the engagement of all known languages would impose a terrible burden on bilingual and multilingual speakers; however, recent studies demonstrated that while there may be some small disadvantages with respect to speed, those disadvantages are far outweighed by what bilinguals and multilinguals learn about how to control potential competition across the two or more languages. Elsewhere, researchers have described the bilingual as a mental juggler, able to keep both languages in the air, as it were, and to simultaneously be able to use the intended language without making obvious mistakes ( Kroll, Dussias, Bogulski, & Valdes-Kroff, 2012 ). Recent studies have substantiated the claim that this ability to juggle all the languages in play creates consequences more generally for bilinguals and multilinguals that enhance the ability to ignore irrelevant information, to switch from one task to another, and to resolve conflict across different alternatives ( Bialystok, Craik, & Luk, 2012 ). These consequences may be most apparent at the two ends of life, for the youngest babies and children and for the oldest speakers.

In addition, the observation that a second or third language engages the same underlying cognitive and neural machinery as the first language also has implications for language itself. The interactivity of the networks that support all of the known languages comes to affect the native language. The native language of a bilingual or multilingual speaker differs from the native language of a monolingual speaker, reflecting the influence of the second or third language on the first. What is remarkable is that these bidirectional influences can be seen at every level of language use, from the way speech is perceived and spoken to the way that grammar is processed and to the way one chooses words to describe perceptual experience ( Ameel, Storms, Malt, & Sloman, 2005 ; Dussias & Sagarra, 2007 ). An even more striking finding, in keeping with the claims about the plasticity of life experience, is that changes in the native language have been observed in second language learners at the earliest moments of new learning ( Bice & Kroll, 2015 ; Chang, 2013 ).

Because the native language of the bilingual is no longer like the native language of the monolingual speaker, it becomes easy to see that these changes to the native language may be seen as a negative consequence of new language learning or at the very least as an indication of language attrition. However, that view fails to account for the variation that is normally seen among monolingual speakers themselves. Most Americans accept the idea that people living in the South will speak with a different accent than people living in the Northeast or Midwest. These regional differences in dialect among monolingual speakers may in fact be related to the changes that are observed in the native language of bilingual or multilingual speakers: Not all monolinguals are the same, and recent studies have begun to identify the ways that monolingual speakers of the same native language may differ from one another ( Pakulak & Neville, 2010 ).

This growing body of evidence not only refutes some of the long-standing myths about multilingualism, but it also has implications for the contexts in which the benefits of multilingualism may best be realized. This article has two goals:

  • It focuses on those groups who are most vulnerable and for whom the opportunities and protections afforded by multilingualism—and thus the overall benefits to society—may be greatest. These include young children, for whom the failure to acquire literacy skills may endanger academic outcomes, and older adults, facing normal cognitive decline as they age or pathology if they are likely to develop dementia.
  • It proposes general directions for best practices in second language learning and offers recommendations about the types of investments that need to be made to overcome the myths and biases about multilingualism that prevent the full range of benefits to be observed for all Americans across the diverse contexts in which they find themselves.

Literacy and Academic Achievement in Young School-Age Children

One in five children in the United States lives in a household in which a language other than English is spoken ( U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 , n.p.). However, speaking a language other than English in the home is associated with a number of risk factors. The 2004 National Center for Education Statistics has reported that about 30% of children who speak English but who are exposed to another a language at home do not complete high school ( National Center for Education Statistics, 2004 , p. 9). Many studies have shown a well-established relationship between low socioeconomic status and low English skill level in children from homes where a language other than English is spoken ( Hoff, 2003 , 2006 ). Recent work has also suggested that speaking a language other than English at home acts as an independent risk factor ( Lonigan, Farver, Nakamoto, & Eppe, 2013 ). Poor literacy outcomes among a significant portion of the population constitute a substantial public health concern because low levels of literacy are associated with higher rates of incarceration, unemployment, and mental illness ( Chevalier & Feinstein, 2007 ). These facts are alarming and suggest that unless there is a marked improvement in the literacy skills of today’s minority children, the future labor force will have lower literacy skills than the labor force of today ( Murnane, Sawhill, & Snow, 2012 ). When considering this body of evidence, parents, educators, policy makers, and pediatricians unfortunately operate on the basis of a mix of folklore and intuition: Because mastery of English by immigrant children in the United States is a critical aim, one response has been to push aside the development of the home language to encourage the development of English. Furthermore, findings that bilingualism affects the rate at which each language is acquired ( Hoff & Place, 2012 ) have been misinterpreted by some as evidence that bilingualism provides an inadequate environment for the development of English language skills. However, quite to the contrary, research that has systematically examined early and concurrent acquisition of a home language and a majority language has suggested a number of positive linguistic, cognitive, and academic outcomes that have the potential for significant impact for both multilingual children and society. First, home language development is related to the quality of relationships within the family and to measures of psychosocial adjustment in adolescence ( Oh & Fuligni, 2010 ). Further, home language skill is important because in some linguistic domains (e.g., phonological awareness), skills acquired in one language support the acquisition of skills in the other language ( Barac & Bialystok, 2012 ; Bialystok, Majumder, & Martin 2003 ; Dickinson, McCabe, Clark-Chiarelli, & Wolf, 2004 ). Multilingualism is a significant economic asset for individuals, and a bilingual and biliterate workforce is a national asset.

In addition to the value that home language development brings to children via its role on family relations and positive outcomes to society, recent scientific findings have dispelled the belief that children are confused by dual language input ( Kovács & Mehler, 2009 ; Werker & Byers-Heinlein, 2008 ); more important, these findings demonstrate that bilingualism confers advantages in executive control—the brain’s functions that allows humans to carry out complex tasks such as solving problems, planning a sequence of activities, inhibiting information that has already been perceived, directing attention to achieve a goal, or monitoring performance. To illustrate how important executive control is, individuals who show damage in the brain areas that are responsible for coordinating executive function show impaired judgment, have difficulty with decision making, and have impaired intellectual abilities. A rapidly growing body of literature has indicated that bilingual children with abilities in psychomotor speed, general cognitive level, and socioeconomic status that are similar to those of monolingual children not only perform similarly to monolingual children on language tasks of grammatical knowledge and metalinguistic awareness, but also show a significant advantage on executive control tasks compared to monolingual children. Although bilingual children typically have lower receptive vocabulary than monolingual children, they outperform monolingual children in domains of cognitive function skill that require a high degree of attentional control ( Barac, Bialystok, Castro, & Sanchez, 2014 ). Another significant finding is that the benefits within the domain of executive control have been found across levels of socioeconomic status ( Engel de Abreu, Cruz-Santos, Touringo, Martin, & Bialystok, 2012 ). In this respect, bilingual language skill is relevant to academic success in children from dual-language homes because bilingualism is associated with an advantage in linguistic and nonlinguistic tasks ( Bialystok & Barac, 2012 ; Costa, Hernández, Costa-Faidella, & Sebastian-Gallés, 2009 ).

Interestingly, the advantages that are conferred by bilingualism have been reported for bilingual children even in the earliest months of life. When adults speak, bilingual infants look at adults’ mouths at an earlier age than do monolingual infants and for a longer period of time, providing the first evidence that bilingual babies “figure out” how to learn two dif-ferent languages as easily as monolingual infants learn one ( Pons, Bosch, & Lewkowicz, 2015 ). Furthermore, six-month-old babies growing up in a bilingual environment are better than monolingual babies at rapidly forming internal memory representations of novel visual stimuli ( Singh et al., 2014 ). By 11 months, the brains of bilingually exposed babies are not only sensitive to both languages but also show evidence of enhanced neural activity in those areas of the brain that are involved in executive function ( Ferjan Ramírez, Ramírez, Clarke, Taulu, & Kuhl, 2017 ), perhaps because learning two languages requires enhanced information processing efficiency compared to learning one language only, making it necessary for infants to develop enhanced skills to cope with the task of dual language acquisition.

One exciting result from the work exploring the effects of bilingualism in children growing up in poverty is that bilingual children from low-income families are better than monolingual matched controls on a number of verbal and nonverbal tasks (see Bialystok & Barac, 2012 ). Given that children in the United States who are born to the lowest-income families have a 43% chance of remaining in that income bracket ( Autor, Katz, & Kearney, 2008 ; Greenstone, Looney, Patashnik, & Yu, 2013 , p. 6), the development of bilingual language acquisition in children from language minority homes seems to provide a way to mitigate the academic risks that are associated with low socioeconomic status and to maximize school readiness. Like children who grow up in multilingual settings, monolingual children will also benefit from bilingual immersion programs because they too will experience the cognitive and linguistic advantages that are associated with growing up bilingual. Although the state of scientific knowledge is incomplete, a new and growing body of evidence strongly supports the benefits of maintaining the home languages and extending the transformative benefits of multilingualism to all learners.

Speaking Two or More Languages Protects Older Adults Against Cognitive Decline

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA) published an Op-Ed column in the New York Times on April 22, 2015, in which he urged the U.S. Congress to double the National Institutes of Health budget and specifically pointed out that a breakthrough discovery that might delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years would create a dramatic reduction in the number of afflicted Americans, with a corresponding reduction in health care costs and stress to family members ( Gingrich, 2015 ). What he failed to mention is that research on bilingualism has already documented a delay of four to five years in the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms for bilinguals relative to age and education matched monolinguals ( Bialystok, Craik, & Freedman, 2007 ; Perani et al., 2017 ). No known pharmaceutical agent has any effect that comes close to bilingualism. While bilingualism does not affect Alzheimer’s directly, research has shown that it does have an impact on the symptoms of the disease: Life as a bilingual seems to provide protection to the cognitive mechanisms that enable someone to negotiate the deleterious consequences of the disease, perhaps in the same way that previous, sustained physical exercise may help a person deal with an injury. When cognitive resources are stressed by the presence of pathology, a life of bilingualism may provide the same sort of protection.

As with the research with young children, some have questioned whether the finding that bilingualism delays the onset of dementia symptoms in those who will develop Alzheimer’s is seen only in adults who are relatively affluent and well educated. A recent study in India on a very large sample of patients who were diagnosed with dementia reported that there was a 4.5-year delay in the onset of symptoms for bilinguals relative to monolinguals. Most critically, the observed delay was independent of education, literacy, and other socioeconomic factors ( Alladi et al., 2013 , p. 1939). Other similar investigations have replicated the four- to five-year delay of dementia symptoms for bilinguals in different language contexts and for different language pairings ( Woumans et al., 2015 ).

Others have wondered about the extent to which bilingualism benefits older adults who are healthy and free of signs of cognitive pathology but who are undergoing normal cognitive aging, such as those who report gradually increasing word-finding difficulties in spoken language and increasing disruption to executive control ( Burke & Shafto, 2008 ; Campbell, Grady, Ng, & Hasher, 2012 ). Notably, the aspects of cognition that naturally decline in aging coincide with many of the features of executive function that have been reported to be influenced by bilingualism, such as the ability to ignore irrelevant information, resolve competition or conflict across alternative responses, and switch between tasks. Studies that have examined the performance of healthy older adults have shown that bilinguals often outperform monolinguals on these measures of executive function ( Bialystok, Craik, Green, & Gollan, 2009 ). While the evidence on behavioral indexes of executive control is sometimes mixed, the findings from studies of structural and functional brain imaging provide compelling support for a difference in the brains of older bilinguals relative to monolinguals ( Gold, Kim, Johnson, Kryscio, & Smith, 2013 ; Li, Legault, & Litcofsky, 2014 ). When bilinguals and monolinguals solve a problem, they may recruit the same brain areas, but bilinguals appear to use them more efficiently.

Given the growing body of evidence that multilingualism has benefits for both normally aging and more challenged older adults, and since studies on young adult bilinguals have suggested that many of the same cognitive benefits can be seen for late bilinguals as for early bilinguals ( Bak, Vega-Mendoza, & Sorace, 2014 ), other studies have investigated whether a person needs to be bilingual from birth or whether late bilingualism can confer some of the same advantages as early bilingualism. Because age of acquisition and language proficiency are confounded—the longer a person has used a language, the more likely he or she is to be proficient, and proficiency seems to be more critical to these consequences of bilingualism than age of exposure per se—research has not yet provided a definitive answer. In addition, despite attempts to control or match as many factors as possible when comparing groups of people—for example, to examine the impact of bilingual or multilingual language experience apart from overall life experience—it is difficult to do this perfectly. Some individuals acquire a second or third language by choice and others as a consequence of the demands of immigration. Some live in an environment where everyone else speaks two or three languages, and others live in an environment that is strongly monolingual, like many locations in the United States. Thus, understanding how these different forms of language experience influence the observed consequences for the mind and the brain is a topic of ongoing research ( Green & Abutalebi, 2013 ). In theory, a solution to the problem of between-group variability is to conduct longitudinal research with the same individuals, although this is both expensive and difficult because attrition over time requires very large samples to come to clear conclusions. In one such recent study, researchers exploited a unique database in Scotland, the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936, in which more than 1,000 individuals were given an intelligence test when they were 11 years old in 1947, and then tested again when they were in their 70s. A clear advantage was reported for bilinguals regardless of the age at which they became bilingual, supporting the findings from studies comparing bilingual and monolingual groups ( Bak, Nissan, Allerhand, & Deary, 2014 ).

What Conclusions Can Be Drawn for Language Learning?

The research cited above suggests that multilingualism provides exceptional consequences across the lifespan that reach far beyond the benefits of having two languages available for communicative purposes. Having two languages will of course enhance opportunities for social interaction, for economic advancement, and for increasing intercultural understanding. However, being bilingual or multilingual also changes the mind and the brain in ways that create resilience under conditions of stress and that counter some of the deleterious effects of poverty and disease. This new body of work on multilingualism has a number of implications for approaches to language learning.

Many years ago, François Grosjean published a paper with a title that garnered great attention, noting that the bilingual was not two monolinguals in one ( Grosjean, 1989 ). His comments were addressed to neurolinguists who interpreted mixed-language speech in bilingual patients as a sign of pathology. His point, reiterating what we have noted earlier in this article, was that language mixing and code-switching are typical features in bilingual speech and, for many bilinguals, mixing is neither rare nor pathological. However, the claim that bilinguals are not simply the addition of two separate monolingual language systems has implications that go beyond the observation of language mixing. Speaking two or more languages changes all languages that an individual knows and uses: There are bidirectional influences that have been demonstrated within a highly interactive language system. The features of the languages in play are likely to influence one another, and the neural plasticity that has been shown to characterize learners at all ages suggests that these changes can sometimes occur quickly during the earliest stages of new language learning. The bottom line is that the two or more languages that are spoken by a bilingual or multilingual individual are not like the native language spoken by a monolingual speaker. The model in past research on second language learning has focused on the goal of attaining native speaker–like abilities in processing the second language. That model assumes, for the most part, that the two languages are independent of one another, an assumption that researchers now know to be incorrect. If proficient multilinguals are not like monolingual native speakers, then the classic native language model is the wrong model for language learning.

A problem in adopting a multilingual model for new language learning is that for adult learners who are already proficient speakers of their native language, there are some features of the native language and indeed of their native language skill that may need to suffer interference, at least briefly, to enable the second language to become established. Research on memory and learning has suggested that what Robert Bjork and Elizabeth Bjork at UCLA have called “desirable difficulties” may be essential to learning ( E. Bjork & R. Bjork, 2011 ): Conditions of learning that give rise to difficulties increase the contextual salience of new material, those that produce errors that provide meaningful feedback, and those that encourage elaboration may ultimately produce better learning and better memory for what has been learned. Desirable difficulties can be imposed externally during learning, e.g., by having learners acquire information under conditions that are costly or slow, or by mentally imposing those conditions on themselves, by self-regulation ( R. Bjork, Dunlosky, & Kornell, 2013 ). In the realm of language learning, the results of a few studies can be understood within this framework, but the implications for language learning more generally have yet to be developed ( R. Bjork & Kroll, 2015 ). This suggests, however, that learning new material quickly may produce a level of satisfaction for the learner but may not necessarily produce enduring memory for what has been learned. The lessons about multilingualism and desirable difficulties come together when one considers what is known about mixing languages. As noted earlier, code-switching, even within a single utterance, is a common occurrence in bilingual speech. Not all bilinguals code-switch, but those who do appear to move seamlessly from one language to the other with little disruption on the part of either the bilingual speaker or the bilingual listener. Likewise, studies of memory and learning have suggested that learning under mixed conditions may produce more stable outcomes than learning under blocked conditions (Birnbaum, Kornell, E. Bjork, & R. Bjork). In the field of education, the idea of “translanguaging” proposes a related concept about having learners exploit all known languages within the context of a given lesson ( García & Wei, 2013 ). Mixing information may not simplify learning, but creating learning environments that simultaneously create desirable difficulties and move new language learners in a direction that more closely resembles the experience of proficient bilinguals may be likely to enhance productive outcomes.

In addition, studies on infant learners have suggested that tremendous gains result when babies are exposed to language variation early in life. This body of work, which shows that bilinguals are better language learners than monolinguals, is not a surprise of course because bilinguals have learned something important about learning itself. One hypothesis about this finding is that the language learning benefit for bilinguals arises from enhancement to self-regulated processes. Bilinguals learn to control the languages not in use, and that control may produce benefits not only to executive function but also to learning mechanisms more generally. A recent proposal is that the very conditions that are available naturally during infancy may also give rise to learning strategies that may be applied to adult learners for whom entrenchment in existing knowledge may be an impediment to new learning ( Cochran, McDonald, & Parault, 1999 ; Wu, 2013 ). A number of investigators are now pursuing a program of research to ask whether new language learning training for older adults will produce benefits to counter age-related cognitive decline ( Antoniou, Gunasekera, & Wong, 2013 ). It will remain to be seen how effectively the lessons from each of these diverse areas of research will come together to provide concrete proposals for how new language learning might be implemented. The lessons from the field are clear in suggesting a new emphasis on exploiting a model that enables the learner to encounter complexity from the start and to then focus on the strategies that may encourage optimal self-regulation.

Addressing the Challenges to Multilingualism in the United States

As noted at the beginning of this article, the greatest challenges to multilingualism in the United States are characterized by the mythology about multilingualism. Learning a second or third language is not a cognitively unnatural task, nor does it create deleterious consequences at any point in the lifespan. The new research, especially work that has been made possible by the revolution in the neurosciences, shows that all the languages that an individual knows and uses are processed in an integrated language system in which there is extensive interaction ( Sigman, Peña, Goldin, & Ribeiro, 2014 ). That interaction across languages gives rise to competition across the known languages, which requires regulation. Although that requirement may impose an initial cost during learning, it appears to be the other side of a process that produces significant benefits for the development of cognitive control. The evidence on multilingualism leads researchers to think that new approaches to language learning that allow learners to experience the variation across the two or more languages, and that may produce language mixing and initial effortful processing, may be beneficial to long-term outcomes.

There is an inspiring message in a film called “Speaking in Tongues” that documents the experiences of children in dual-language classrooms who come from very different backgrounds, including both heritage speakers and monolingual English-speaking learners who have no exposure to other languages at home.3 2 The spirit of that documentary meshes well with the scientific evidence that has been reviewed here. Encouraging others to embrace this view will require social action that draws on cross-disciplinary sciences and engages a larger community in working toward that goal.

1 See http://www.bilingualism-matters.ppls.ed.ac.uk/ , the home of “Bilingualism Matters” at the University of Edinburgh, for additional background.

2 We note for the purpose of this discussion that we take a broad view of bilingualism and multilingualism, considering anyone who uses two or more languages actively to be bilingual or multilingual. The form of language experience will differ across individuals and in different language and cultural contexts. Those distinctions, the trajectory of language learning, and the resulting proficiency in each language will be critically important factors, but our interpretation of the available research is that bilingualism and multilingualism are more similar than different. The critical distinction will be between individuals who are monolingual and individuals who speak two or more languages.

3 See http://speakingintonguesfilm.info/ .

Contributor Information

Judith F. Kroll, University of California, Riverside.

Paola E. Dussias, Pennsylvania State University.

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essay on learning a second language

Knowing more than one language is fast becoming a requirement for anyone who wants to compete and thrive in a world where boundaries and barriers are becoming less relevant. In addition to the language itself, multilingual learners can take advantage of the full scope of accompanying cognitive and social skills—making them great employees, leaders in their communities, and true global citizens.

The U.S. Lags Behind in Language Education

Most students in the U.S. graduate high school knowing only one language—making it the only developed country in the world for which language learning is not a recognized priority.

In the United States, only one in five K-12 students 1 (and about one in 12 university students 2 ) is enrolled in a world language class. This is a woefully small number of students, especially when compared to other countries:

92% of students in Europe learn another language in school.

Nearly 1 in 4 Canadians can hold a conversation in both English and French.

Across Africa, more schools are teaching in both the student’s first language and English, French, Dutch, or Portuguese.

While precise measurements are difficult, many sources estimate that one out of every two people on the planet knows at least two languages.

There may have been a time in the U.S. when becoming multilingual was a luxury. But to thrive in an interconnected world—with its expanding population, evolving technologies, and growing emphasis on competing globally—it’s a requirement. And remember, three out of four humans don’t speak English.

Top 10 Benefits of Learning More Than One Language

1. improve your career & business.

When employers list the skills they most seek in a candidate, “knowing more than one language” is listed among the top eight—regardless of the job title, the economic sector, or the candidate’s experience. In other words, whether you’re an engineer, a restaurant server, a salesperson, or a small business owner—any role in any sector—multilingualism will serve your professional goals well.

And while knowing more than one language is a powerful way to distinguish yourself from your peers and colleagues, it’s becoming less of a nice-to-have and more of a job requirement. A full 90% of U.S. employers report relying on employees who speak more than one language—with one in three of these businesses reporting a significant “language skills gap.”

2. Build Deeper Connections With More People

When you can communicate with someone in her language, you open up infinite ways to connect. The entire experience of interacting with your fellow humans—getting to know them, working alongside them—is enriched by sharing their language. You will be shaped by communities. You will be humbled by the kindness of strangers. You will build lifelong friendships.

When you can communicate with someone in her language, you open up infinite ways to connect.

3. Sharpen Your Decision-Making

Decisions made in a second language are more reason-driven than decisions made in your first language. 3 When tackling a challenge in a second (or third or fourth) language, you gain the objectivity and emotional distance you need to properly assess the situation. The result? Clear-eyed choices made through sound, systematic thinking.

4. Feed Your Brain

Research indicates that people who speak more than one language develop a better memory, talent for problem-solving, ability to concentrate, and tendency to be creative than people who speak only one language. Knowing at least a second language also reduces the chances of cognitive decline as you age.

5. Treasure Other Cultures

Culture is the collection of a group’s traditions, arts, customs, social institutions, and achievements, passed from generation to generation. But the surest way to understand a culture—to know it, empathize with it, and come to adore it—is to know its language. In studies, children who have studied an additional language like and respect the culture associated with that language, as well as demonstrate higher levels of empathy and tolerance. Language learning deepens and expands the way we move through the world.

Language learning deepens and expands the way we move through the world.

6. See the World (More Fully)

When you travel somewhere and know the language, the entire experience transforms. Traveling becomes more dynamic—more full of nuance and opportunities. Knowing the language lets you escape the “tourist bubble” and to interact with people and places nobody else could. You can read the street signs to find amazing locales, engage in more meaningful conversation, and immerse yourself in local culture, food, and art.

7. Boost Your Confidence

As you’re learning a language, you’ll make plenty of mistakes—often in front of the audience of your teacher and classmates. But these “mistakes” are actually steps toward becoming a more proficient speaker and more resilient learner. Studying a language allows you to take risks and step into something new and slightly uncomfortable, offering a fantastic chance to grow and mature. And when you eventually find yourself conversing with someone in their language, your sense of accomplishment will be unparalleled.

Studying a language allows you to take risks and step into something new and slightly uncomfortable, offering a fantastic chance to grow and mature.

8. Expand Your Perspective

Learning another language means learning another culture. And learning another culture means drawing comparisons between it and your own culture. You naturally discover places—places both positive and negative—where the cultures diverge. Your understanding of the awesomeness of humanity’s diversity and ingenuity grows in a thousand new directions.

9. Experience Art in Its Original Form

Most of the world’s history and art—its books, news, films, music, essays, stories, and online experiences—are in a language you don’t (yet) know. With more than 7,000 spoken languages on Earth, you could spend countless lifetimes exploring the many source materials if only you knew the language . Reading a love poem by Neruda in its original Spanish, reciting Homer’s epics in their original Greek, or watching “Rashomon” in Kurosawa’s original Japanese—these are all profound experiences that only language learning can offer.

10. Become a Polyglot

When you learn a second language, two amazing things happen. First, you come to know and speak your first language better. Second, learning a third language is much easier than the second (especially for children). 4 Take a bold step toward communicating in as many languages as you choose!

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The benefits of learning a second language

by Jennifer Smith

Learning a new language takes time and dedication. Once you do, being fluent in a second language offers numerous benefits and opportunities. Learning a second language is exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers practical, intellectual and many aspirational benefits

In today's world, there are over 7,000 languages, and learning at least one will help you in life massively. Although it has been proven that it is easier for children to learn a second language, it is certainly never too late to learn, and the benefits definitely reward the effort and dedication.

Whatever your age, being bilingual certainly has its advantages, especially in today's global society. Here are the top benefits of learning a second language:

Blackboard with various languages writing on it, courtesy of Shutterstock

Better job prospects

In today's business dominated society, being bilingual can only be an advantage and gives you a competitive edge when searching for jobs, or maintaining your current employment.

Companies who plan to expand into overseas market are constantly looking for bilingual staff, who of which are well-paid and receive excellent benefits, as they will ultiamtely give the company a huge competitive advantage.

By learning a second language, you will be indispensable at your place of work as you can easily bridge the cultural gap between the two countries, and those with the ability to speak a second language are more likely to find a job.

Brain health

Medical studies has shown the positive effects learning a second language has on the brain.

Studies showed that learning a second language significantly delayed the onset of many brain related diseases such as Alzheimer and dementia, compared to those who can only speak their native tongue.

Travel and leisure

Learning a new language opens up a world of new opportunities. If you choose to learn a commonly spoken language, such as Spanish, French or German, you can travel practically anywhere in the world and not have trouble with translations.

You can confidently go about your business and in another country and speak freely to locals and other travellers. You will have a much better experience as you can effectively communicate with much more people, which will ultimately open up your mind and put things into different perspectives regarding the different cultures of the world.

Improved first language

As we go about our everyday lives, we rarely give a second thought to our own grammatical structure and vocabulary. However, when learning a new language, many people find they have a greater understanding of their first language.

Learning a second language focuses your attention on the grammatical rules constructions of that language. This experience gives people a new insight into their own language and ultimately leads to them improving their mother tongue, which will improve their everyday lives.

Improved understanding of the world

Learning a new language gives you a greater global understanding of the world we live in. Even by learning a few phrases, never mind a whole language, you will access many fascinating cultures around the world and understand the differences between the two countries.

You will have access to a whole new array of film, music and literature, and a greater understanding of the history and culture of the nation and ultimately a better understanding of the way the world works, including politics and security.

Experience new cultures

The world is a cauldron of rich and interesting cultures. Learning a new language allows you to access many different cultures across the world.

You will have the chance to see fascinating new things from a new perspective, which not many people can, and connect with the new people all over the world.

Different culture has its own music, style, history, literature and many more interesting things which you will be able to enjoy and understand. You will be able to connect through books, TV, the internet and converse with a whole countries worth of people, ultimately broadening your horizons, interests and views. A whole new world will be open to you.

Achievement

Learning a new language is a an achievement anyone can be proud of and is extremely satisfying. Once the hard work and effort has paid off, you will experience the many benefits associated with learning a new language and you will have a new found confidence.

Learning a new language will open up our world in ways a monoglot would never have the chance of experiencing. Your mind will be constantly be engaged and you will gain an insight into many different cultures. Learning a second language also makes it easier to learn a third, which will certainly broaden your horizons.

Written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of Kwintessential , the translation specialists.

More information about how to improve brain function https://www.themanlyzone.com/naturally-improve-brain-function/

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Second Language Learning

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essay on learning a second language

  • Angelika Rieder-Bünemann 2  

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Foreign language learning ; L2 acquisition ; Second language acquisition

Second language learning (SLL) is concerned with the process and study of how people acquire a second language, which is often referred to as L2 or target language, as opposed to L1 (the native language). Generally, the term second language in this context can refer to any language (also a third or fourth language) learned in addition to the native language. However, second language learning would be contrasted with a bilingual learning situation, in which a child acquires two languages simultaneously (e.g., when the parents speak two different languages). We only speak of second language acquisition if another language is acquired after the first language.

The terms learning and acquisition are frequently treated as synonyms in the literature. Some researchers, however, distinguish between acquisition and learning, stating that acquisition refers to the gradual subconscious development of...

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Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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Ellis, R. (1997). SLA research and language teaching . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ellis, R. (2008). The study of second language acquisition (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition . London: Pergamon.

Mitchell, R., & Myles, F. (2004). Second language learning theories (2nd ed.). London: Arnold.

Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 10 , 209–241.

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Rieder-Bünemann, A. (2012). Second Language Learning. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_826

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My Experience of Learning a New Language

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Works Cited

  • Gardner, R. C., & Lambert, W. E. (1972). Attitudes and Motivation in Second-Language Learning. Newbury House Publishers.
  • Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and Researching Motivation (2nd ed.). Routledge.
  • Brown, H. D. (2007). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (5th ed.). Pearson Education.
  • Cook, V. (2008). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching (4th ed.). Routledge.
  • Ellis, R. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2013). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2013). How Languages are Learned (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Nunan, D. (2004). Task-Based Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press.
  • Nation, P. (2001). Learning Vocabulary in Another Language. Cambridge University Press.
  • Schmitt, N., & McCarthy, M. (Eds.). (1997). Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition, and Pedagogy. Cambridge University Press.

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Home » Tips for Teachers » Why Students Should Learn a Second Language for Future Success: Exploring the 7 Benefits

Why Students Should Learn a Second Language for Future Success: Exploring the 7 Benefits

In an increasingly interconnected and globalized world, understanding why students should learn a second language becomes crucial. This ability has transcended from being a simple asset to almost a necessity. For students at the crossroads of educational paths and future careers, mastering a second language unveils myriad opportunities, both personally and professionally.

Why Students Should Learn a Second Language

Beyond the apparent benefit of enhanced communication abilities, bilingualism or multilingualism enriches learners’ cognitive capabilities, cultural understanding, and global awareness. It equips them with the tools not only to succeed in the global marketplace but also to navigate the complex tapestry of global cultures with empathy and insight.

The argument for incorporating second language learning into students’ curricula is compelling and multifaceted. Research consistently highlights the cognitive benefits, including improved problem-solving skills, enhanced memory, and increased attention span. Moreover, in the cultural dimension, it fosters a deeper understanding of and respect for diversity, preparing students to become global citizens. Professionally, bilingualism offers a competitive edge in the job market, where employers increasingly value the ability to communicate across cultural and linguistic barriers.

Really it depends from your needs and circumstances. In my professional experience, motivation is the only reason students will successfully learn a second language, either is business related, or a new boyfriend or an imminent trip. Some might say that the best language to… — ARTΞME (@StellaAmato4) January 17, 2024

As we delve into the benefits of acquiring a second language for students, we explore not only the practical advantages but also the profound impact it can have on their personal development and worldview. Learning a second language is more than an academic endeavor; it is a journey into understanding others and oneself, a bridge to the world, and a tool for shaping the future.

On this page, you will discover:

  • Why Students Should Embrace Multilingualism →
  • 7 Benefits Of Learning A Second Language →
  • Best Languages to Learn After English →
  • 15 Tips to Learn a Foreign Language →

Why Students Should Learn a Second Language — Embracing Multilingualism

Did you know that bilingual or multilingual individuals are often considered the brainiest bunch? Speaking more than one language opens up a world of cognitive advantages that go beyond just mastering new words. Imagine navigating through different cultural contexts with ease, your mind open to diverse perspectives and ideas. This adaptability not only enhances problem-solving skills but also fosters a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness.

Explore the transformative power of multilingualism and its impact by watching this enlightening video.

But here’s the real kicker: being bilingual isn’t just about speaking two languages. It’s like giving your brain a daily workout session! Processing two languages simultaneously keeps the mind sharp and agile, like a well-oiled machine. Studies have shown that bilingual individuals exhibit superior mental flexibility, longer attention spans, and sharper problem-solving abilities compared to their monolingual counterparts.

Bilingualism has even been hailed as a superhero in the fight against cognitive decline. Research suggests that the mental gymnastics involved in learning and using multiple languages can help stave off age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. So not only are bilingual individuals smart now, but they’re also setting themselves up for a brighter, more vibrant future.

Bilingualism

But perhaps the most magical aspect of bilingualism is its ability to shape the way we perceive the world. Languages aren’t just tools for communication; they’re windows into different cultures, histories, and ways of thinking. From unlocking ancient mysteries to connecting with people from all walks of life, bilingualism opens doors to endless possibilities.

7 Benefits Of Learning A Second Language

For students, learning a foreign language holds immense benefits, contributing to their academic success, personal growth, and future career prospects.

Benefits Of Learning A Second Language

1. Increase in Self-Confidence and Happiness

The journey of mastering a new language is a profound booster of self-confidence and overall happiness for students. This process not only involves acquiring new vocabulary and grammar but also overcoming challenges and stepping out of one’s comfort zone. The sense of achievement that comes from being able to communicate in a foreign language is immense.

Increase in Self-Confidence and Happiness

Research from the University of Cambridge highlights how language learning enhances self-efficacy, leading to a more positive life outlook. Similarly, findings by the Institute for Employment Studies demonstrate notable improvements in well-being, particularly in self-confidence and happiness. This uplift in self-esteem is crucial; it transcends linguistic accomplishments, empowering students to tackle broader academic and personal challenges with increased confidence and resilience.

In an insightful talk, Ellen highlights the unifying power of language and urges everyone to embrace learning a new language as a way to expand their horizons—watch her inspiring video.

Moreover, the positive feedback loop created by increased self-confidence and happiness encourages continued language learning and engagement with other cultures. It can spark a lifelong passion for exploration, both intellectually and geographically, leading to more fulfilling personal and professional lives. In this way, the benefits of language learning extend far beyond the classroom, impacting students’ well-being, social connections, and outlook on life in profound and lasting ways.

Explore the importance of mental health in education through “ 8 Reasons Why Students Should Have Mental Health Days: A Research-Based Analysis .” This detailed article provides research-backed insights into the necessity of mental health days for students’ well-being and academic achievement, advocating for their inclusion in educational policies.

2. Enhanced Decision-Making Skills

The transformative process of enhancing decision-making skills through second language learning reshapes how students evaluate information and make choices, illustrating why students should learn a second language. The University of Chicago’s research underscores the significant shift in cognitive processing when thinking in a foreign language, leading to more logical and less emotionally biased decisions.

Enhanced Decision-Making Skills

This cognitive distance allows for clearer judgment and more rational evaluation of scenarios, which is particularly advantageous in complex and high-stakes academic settings. As students navigate their educational paths, they often face decisions that require weighing different options and outcomes. The ability to detach from immediate emotional responses and analyze situations with objectivity becomes a powerful tool in their arsenal.

Discover how the over 7,000 languages worldwide might shape our perception of the world through the lens of the Whorfian hypothesis, which suggests our language influences our thoughts, visions, and understanding of our surroundings—explore this fascinating concept by watching the video.

Moreover, this skill transcends academic environments and prepares students for real-world challenges. In personal and professional spheres, the clarity and rationality honed through bilingual decision-making processes contribute to sound financial planning, strategic career moves, and effective conflict resolution. The practice of thinking in a second language cultivates a mindset that values careful consideration and foresight, attributes that are invaluable in a rapidly changing world.

As students become more adept at making decisions in a second language, they also develop a greater awareness of cultural nuances and perspectives, further enriching their decision-making capabilities. This comprehensive enhancement of cognitive and cultural competence equips students with a robust framework for navigating life’s myriad choices with confidence and wisdom.

3. Strengthened Brain Power and Attention Span

Bilingualism acts as a rigorous workout for the brain, significantly enhancing cognitive abilities and attentional control. Engaging with multiple languages fosters neural plasticity, strengthening the brain’s networks and improving its agility. This cognitive reinforcement is manifest in enhanced memorization skills and a more robust working memory, foundational elements for academic excellence.

Strengthened Brain Power and Attention Span

Students who are bilingual demonstrate an ability to retain and manipulate information more effectively than their monolingual peers, facilitating learning across all subjects. The mental discipline required to switch between languages also enhances students’ focus and attention span. This increased capacity for concentration is invaluable in an educational landscape filled with distractions and multitasking demands.

Discover the fascinating changes that occur in the brain during language learning through scans and neuroscience studies by watching this insightful video.

The benefits of strengthened brain power and attention span extend beyond academic achievements. They contribute to a student’s ability to engage in sustained intellectual efforts, pursue long-term goals, and navigate complex problem-solving tasks. Enhanced cognitive function supports deep learning, enabling students to absorb knowledge more thoroughly and apply it creatively.

Moreover, the discipline of managing attention across different languages translates into improved self-regulation skills, equipping students to better control their focus and direct it towards productive activities. In a world where attention is a scarce commodity, the ability to concentrate and maintain focus is a significant advantage, preparing students for success in both their personal and professional lives.

Dive into the world of intellectual expansion and lifelong learning by reading our article on the 30+ best higher education podcasts.

4. Cultural Understanding

Delving into a new language is tantamount to unlocking a door to a vast array of cultural experiences, perspectives, and understandings. This immersive journey into another culture enhances students’ empathy, broadens their worldview, and fosters a deep appreciation for diversity.

Cultural Understanding

The nuanced insights gained through language study allow students to grasp the complexity of cultural identities and the ways in which language shapes thought and behavior. This cultural competence is critical in today’s globalized society, where cross-cultural interactions are commonplace. By gaining an intimate understanding of different cultures, students are equipped to navigate these interactions with sensitivity and respect.

Watch Grant Cho delve into whether language acts as a barrier or a bridge, exploring its challenges, importance, and role in communication, culture, and identity.

Moreover, the ability to communicate in another language opens up access to a wealth of cultural artifacts—literature, film, music, and more—that enrich students’ educational experiences and personal growth. This exposure to diverse cultural expressions not only enhances students’ understanding of the world but also inspires creativity and innovation.

Cultural understanding fosters an inclusive mindset, crucial for building cohesive societies and working effectively in multicultural teams. In cultivating global citizens, language education plays a pivotal role, in preparing students to contribute positively to a world that values diversity and mutual respect.

5. Improved Academic Performance

The cognitive enhancements brought about by bilingualism have a profound impact on students’ academic performance. The problem-solving skills, creative thinking, and multitasking abilities that are honed through language learning contribute to success across various academic disciplines.

Improved Academic Performance

Research has shown that bilingual students often outperform their monolingual counterparts on standardized tests, particularly in areas requiring analytical and abstract thinking. The ability to approach problems from different linguistic and cultural perspectives enriches students’ analytical capabilities, leading to more innovative solutions and a deeper understanding of academic material.

Discover the advantages of a bilingual brain by watching this video that explores the remarkable cognitive benefits of being bilingual.

The benefits of improved academic performance extend beyond test scores and grades; they include enhanced ability to synthesize information, argue effectively, and engage in critical thinking. Language learning encourages an interdisciplinary approach to education, where students apply linguistic skills to analyze texts, solve mathematical problems, and conduct scientific research.

This broad applicability of language skills fosters a versatile academic foundation, enabling students to excel in diverse fields of study. By investing in language education, students not only boost their immediate academic prospects but also lay the groundwork for lifelong learning and intellectual curiosity.

Delve into “ 7 Research-Based Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework: Academic Insights, Opposing Perspectives & Alternatives ” to gain an informed viewpoint on the homework debate, presenting alternative strategies to improve student learning.

6. Expanded Career Opportunities

In the context of globalization, the question of “should students learn a second language” becomes pertinent, as the ability to speak a second language provides students with a competitive edge in a wide range of industries, marking it as a significant asset in the job market. The Eton Institute’s survey underscores the high-value employers place on multilingual skills, with a clear preference for hiring bilingual candidates.

Expanded Career Opportunities

This preference is due to the versatility and cross-cultural communication skills bilingual individuals bring to the workplace, enabling companies to expand their global reach and connect with a diverse customer base. Bilingual employees often enjoy higher salaries, more job opportunities, and the potential for international travel and assignments, reflecting the premium placed on language skills in the global economy.

Watch this Creative Multilingualism video to see how languages shape identity and play a crucial role in crafting a career path that resonates with young individuals.

Furthermore, the soft skills developed through language learning—such as adaptability, cultural sensitivity, and problem-solving—are increasingly sought after in today’s workforce. These skills enable individuals to navigate the complexities of international business, foster collaborative relationships, and innovate within multicultural teams.

For students, learning a second language is not merely an academic achievement; it is an investment in their future careers, opening doors to opportunities in diplomacy, international business, education, technology, and more. In an ever-more interconnected world, bilingualism is not just a skill but a gateway to a myriad of professional possibilities and a more fulfilling career path.

7. Better Cognitive Abilities

The process of acquiring proficiency in a new language involves complex cognitive activities: recognizing, interpreting, and generating meaning within an entirely different linguistic framework. Such mental gymnastics not only enhance your linguistic capabilities but also amplify your problem-solving skills across various domains. The challenge of navigating through a new language system stimulates cognitive flexibility, improving your ability to discern and manipulate abstract concepts in other contexts as well.

Better Cognitive Abilities

Research from the University of Edinburgh corroborates the cognitive advantages associated with bilingualism. Individuals fluent in more than one language consistently outperform their monolingual counterparts in standardized assessments covering a wide spectrum of areas including reading comprehension, mathematical reasoning, vocabulary, and more. This cognitive edge translates into more effective learning and comprehension across a diverse array of academic subjects.

Discover if being bilingual can enhance your intelligence by watching this video on the cognitive benefits of speaking multiple languages. Unlock the secrets to a sharper mind and broader perspectives through the power of linguistic diversity.

In conclusion, learning a foreign language offers numerous benefits beyond just linguistic proficiency. From personal growth to professional advancement, language acquisition enriches lives and opens doors to new, exciting opportunities in an increasingly interconnected global world.

Best Languages to Learn After English

Choosing the right language to learn after English hinges on identifying your personal motivations and objectives. Whether you’re driven by the challenge of mastering a linguistically diverse language, seeking practical benefits by learning one of the world’s most spoken languages, or aiming for specific academic or professional goals, understanding your “why” is crucial.

This foundation not only makes the selection process straightforward but also ensures sustained motivation and progress, even when faced with obstacles. Additionally, it’s essential to weigh the potential difficulties and time commitments associated with your chosen language, as these factors significantly influence your learning journey.

Explore the top languages to learn for enhancing your work, study, travel, and retirement abroad by watching this informative video.

With its origins tracing back to the 16th century, Spanish has evolved into a global powerhouse, spoken by 543 million people worldwide, ranking it fourth globally after English, Chinese, and Hindi, and second in terms of native speakers, trailing only Chinese. It enjoys official language status in 18 Latin American countries and Equatorial Guinea, boasting the largest number of speakers in Mexico (120 million) and surprisingly, the United States (59 million), surpassing even Spain itself in Spanish-speaking population.

Similar languages: Italian, Portuguese, French

Spanish

Why learn Spanish?

  • Travel: Dominating Latin America, Spanish allows for rich cultural experiences across an entire subcontinent where it’s often the sole language spoken.
  • Education: Spanish-speaking countries offer affordable higher education options, with public university fees ranging from $809 to $2,697, and countries like Argentina even offering free education to foreigners.
  • StudySpanish.com : Offers extensive materials covering grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and more.
  • Language Transfer : A podcast-based Spanish course.
  • Easy Spanish : A YouTube channel delving into Spanish language and life in Spanish-speaking countries.

German claims official status in six countries (Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium), with 76 million native speakers. It’s the second most widespread language in Europe and globally counts almost 135 million speakers, with an additional 15 million learners worldwide.

Similar languages: Dutch, Afrikaans

German

Why learn German?

  • Education: A compelling reason to learn German is the offer of free education at state universities (excluding Baden-Württemberg), requiring only a nominal semester fee. Although English-taught programs are available, they are not universally offered across all fields and levels.
  • Career: Proficiency in German significantly enhances career prospects, especially in high-demand fields such as IT, engineering, economics, architecture, and nursing. The unemployment rate for foreigners is notably low, and recent policy changes have made it easier for non-German residents to find employment.
  • Deutsche Welle : Provides a variety of videos and podcasts for German learners.
  • Deutsch Online : A resource-rich platform offering materials for different proficiency levels.
  • vhs-Lernportal : Free courses available for levels A1 to B2, catering to a range of learners.

15 Tips to Learn a Foreign Language

Tips to Learn a Foreign Language

Mark Manson, renowned for his insightful blogging and authorship, delves into the intricacies of language learning with practical advice that resonates with learners across the globe. His approach, characterized by directness and efficacy, dismantles the conventional barriers often encountered in the journey to mastering a new language. Here’s a breakdown of his pivotal tips:

Unlock the secrets to mastering a new language with ease by watching the video featuring 7 essential tips for language learners.

Useful Resources

  • Anyone Can Learn a New Language
  • The benefits of being bilingual: Working memory in bilingual Turkish–Dutch children
  • Top 10 Most Widely Used Languages in 2023

Final Thoughts

Understanding why students should learn a second language is crucial in today’s educational landscape. This journey not only opens up a world of opportunities but also fosters a broader perspective, enhanced cognitive abilities, and a deeper appreciation for the diversity that shapes our world. As such, the pursuit of bilingualism or multilingualism is not just beneficial but essential for students preparing to navigate and contribute to our increasingly globalized society.

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essay on learning a second language

Essay on Learning a Second Language

Reading and writing are essential in one’s ability to learn a distant language. Learning a new dialect can be exhaustive and complex; it demands hard work and dedication. An individual fluent in multiple languages can engage and interact with the world more freely and eloquently in the modern world. One can obtain second language ability by taking an online language class or enroll in one-on-one tutoring. The instructor will assist with the theoretical part of learning, and the critical part of learning requires an individual to put more personal effort. Also, practicing writing and reading a second language is an enormous practice emotionally, physically and mentally. Therefore practicing reading and writing solitary is not sufficient for subsidiary learners. Understanding the societal influences of the language of choice is an essential element to learning a dialect language. (Kayı-Aydar 48) For one to accomplish learning a second language is by understanding social dialogues and different cross-cultural competence. The paper seeks to discuss the significance of practicing personal reading and writing in a second language.

Reading and writing are intertwined; there can be an existence of one without the other. Reading and writing are essential to anyone in a learning institution or anyone who aspires to get educated. Reading and writing generally assist an individual in absorbing information and enhancing school or leisure-related tasks. Reading and writing ensure life becomes simplified because reading has multiple benefits in life. Writing assists humans in being able to express themselves better. Writing also provides a platform where an individual makes one thought and learning permanent. Reading and writing serve the purpose of informing, persuading, explaining and entertaining. Reading and writing motivate an individual to do better and be better. The more one takes time to read and write, the better that person understands the skills being communicated and can expand their knowledge.

Reading enhances the act of writing and enhances the ability to read and understand the information or message being communicated. Practicing reading and writing is essential to the modern world because understanding the written work help a person’s mindset grow. Human beings start reading and writing while young, and as they grow, they can master their language skills. Reading and writing help an individual to connect the ideas they have read.

Practice makes perfect; therefore, there is a need to practice reading and writing a second language because it has more advantages than disadvantages. Reading helps one to be able to improve on spelling, expanding one’s vocabulary and be able to construct a complete sentence. (Shoebottom 24) According to Paul Shoebottom, a good reader can understand the individual sentence and the structure of writing. A student can identify words and expressions learned in class while taking notes of new words through practicing personal reading. The more one is committed to reading, and the more one can understand the language. Through practice, the student can learn and read new vocabularies and use correct grammar structure (Hirvela 75). The student who consistently practices personal reading will likely grasp the language quickly than depending only on classwork.

Most human beings can speak an overseas language more easily than writing because they spend more time practicing speaking than writing. On the contrary, what is the importance of reading and writing to learn a second language? Practicing a second language alone is not enough to learn the second language. This is because it is not always the case while reading and writing. When growing up, one does not require to read and write to learn how to speak English. Instead, the huge role is just listening, and one can practice pronunciation of terms that are regularly repeated and heard. Humans usually start reading and writing when they get to join pre-school, but on joining the school, they are fluent speakers. It requires several years of learning for one to be able to read and write to master their first language.

Speaking is more frequent than writing. There is no proportion of reading and listening that can assist an individual in shaping their language form (Hyland 56). Writing allows one to organize their thoughts before constructing their sentences hence making writing a slow process. Writing also provides a learner with a chance to evaluate their progress in learning the language and a chance to rectify grammatical errors. For effective learning, the learners can create time for practicing writing and improving spelling, pronunciation and formulating better sentence structure of the second language.

The practice assists students to remember and master what they have learned in class and connect grammar structure to previous participation from the previous lesson. Research indicates that individuals increase their ability to preserve information when they write (Hyland 59). Personal writing makes learning more practical, creating neural pathways in the brain and cementing the mind’s information. Writing activates thoughts into evaluating information that the brain receives hence helping the mind store that knowledge for a longer period or even permanently. Books are written to pass intended meaning; therefore, they are more prosperous (Hyland 60). Constant practicing of a second language provides one with an opportunity not to forget what they have learned.

Practicing writing and reading is not the only way of learning a second language because they affect one’s ability to alter words correctly. Languages sometimes differ in syllable pronunciation, and it can be difficult to identify that just by reading and writing alone. For instance, how the letter ‘O’ is altered in English varies from how it is pronounced in German. Distinct languages have different syllabary and writing structures. When one only focuses on Reading and Writing, it becomes more strenuous for the learner to understand the language swiftly.

Listening is a great art that can assist a person in understanding and learn a second language. As humans grow from childhood to adulthood, listening contributes greatly to their communication and mastering their first language and other languages. Listening in the modern day has been simplified and made easier to help people learn. There are different ways one can listen to audio courses to assist one in learning. A time people wonder where can they get time to read and write while listening to another language. One’s understanding of a language demands different skills and exercises to explore their abilities to read and write. Listening is easier and faster than compared writing and reading.

Another advantage of practicing reading and writing when schooling a second tongue is that the power of studying outshines the duration of the study. For example, an individual will become more effective when schooling a second tongue three hours a day for two successive weeks than an individual who takes just an hour a day in the period of two months (Hirvela 77). Language set become difficult, almost impossible. After all, the classes are set apart by several days because the classes take place three to four hours a week. Practicing personal reading and writing means students need more time to acquire second language skills constantly. Learning a language demands a lot of repetition, constant commitment and reference experiences.

To fully apply the knowledge learned, one has to use the language more often to be fluent in any foreign language. Practice is the best technique to understand it through writing and reading. Classes do not happen every day, and they can take up to three days before another class happens (Hirvela 84). It is advisable for the learner not only to rely on classes alone. One can listen to podcasts, radio, TV, and subscribe to youtube channel classes and tutorials.

In conclusion, learning is a journey, and it requires one’s effort and commitment. The amount of time and means required for learning demands an individual to be mentally prepared. The learning process not only comprises of just reading and writing but also is influenced by other factors. An individual practicing a second language has to practice more personal listening and to speak to benefit more. Repetition and practice are required to polish the language. Learning a second language through reading and writing also requires personal commitment, determination, patience and hard work. Learner taking a second language has to combine all skills required to learning the foreign language. Those skills include reading, writing, listening, and speaking because they are essential and compulsory to become an excellent second language speaker without facing any challenges. When a learner combines reading, writing, listening, and practicing speaking, one becomes excellent in understanding new vocabularies and correct spelling, and one can construct a well-structured sentence. Writing assists an individual in assessing their progress, revise the grammatical errors and remember it all. Practicing a foreign or a second language assists students in acquiring the skills necessary to be fluent. To perfect the second language will require combining the use of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Works cited.

Hirvela, Alan.  Connecting reading & writing in second language writing instruction . University of Michigan Press, 2004. 73-89

Bondarenko, Olena. “Challenges of teaching academic writing skills in ESL classroom (Based on international teaching experience).”  Revista Românească pentru Educaţie Multidimensională  11.4 (2019): 70-83.

Hyland, Ken.  Second language writing . Cambridge university press, 2019. 54-62.

Kayı-Aydar, Hayriye.  Positioning theory in applied linguistics: Research design and applications . Springer, 2018.

Shoebottom, Paul. “The factors that influence the acquisition of a second language.”  Retrieved from  (2016): 23-28.

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essay on learning a second language

  • April 8, 2024
  • Education Advice

9 Benefits of Learning a Second Language

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With the English language being the world’s lingua franca, many English speakers may think it’s not necessary to learn a new one. They aren’t necessarily right. Learning a language never goes to waste. You can use it while in a new country to communicate with the locals so they can help you find your destination or to maybe feel at home after you moved there to teach English to non-English speakers . It can even help you in your job, and your business travels.

Knowing a second language means a whole new literature is in your hands. However, these aren’t the only benefits of learning a second language . There are many more. Here’s our list of nine of them.

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Why Is Learning a Second Language Important?

In today’s increasingly interdependent world, speaking a second language is an essential skill that gives you the ability to communicate and connect with people from all over the world in a quicker and more meaningful way. Connections are now more important than ever, considering the continual globalization of the world’s economy, and knowing a foreign language will always give you a significant advantage.

There are tangible benefits to being bilingual—it can improve your brain and memory functions, boost your creativity and self-esteem,  help in your career opportunities, as well as increase your understanding of the language you already speak. Read on to find out more about the benefits of learning a foreign language.

1. It Stimulates Your Brain

Learning a new language undoubtedly helps your gray matter grow . Acquiring a new language means that you’re going to learn a whole new set of rules of grammar and lexis (whether you find this part amusing or not). While your brain is trying to keep up with the new language’s complexities and take in the new patterns, new developments are happening in the brain. Just like muscles, the brain gets stronger and bigger the more you put it to use.

Nothing challenges the brain like learning a language does. Scientists have established that we use the left side of the brain when speaking our native language. Whereas, second language usage isn’t limited to a specific hemisphere. It uses both of them, increasing the size of the white and grey matter of the brain.

But that is not all; acquiring a new language also helps to stave off cognitive decline and mental aging. Recent research shows that multilingual adults experienced the first signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia at a later age compared to monolinguals. They also researched other variables like health, economic status, educational level, and gender, but none of them contributed as much as the number of languages that person spoke.

2. It Improves Your Attention Span

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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 brain’s 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.”

3. More Career Options to Choose From

We are living in a multicultural world; many companies are opening offices overseas to extend their market. So the need for bilingual candidates is greater than ever. By acquiring a foreign language, you will double the number of available jobs for you and climb the career ladder much faster.

In the highly competitive job market , employers are looking to hire someone who stands out from the rest of the candidates. Knowing a foreign language could help you be chosen among many other job applicants. Having a foreign language listed in your CV might be what a potential employer is looking for.

Also, nowadays, people who are proficient in more than one language are high in demand in the job market in all sectors and industries, as the employers consider them to be better communicators and problem solvers. Skills that one master by acquiring a second language.

4. It Boosts Your Creativity

Knowing a foreign language isn’t beneficial only to the brain; it also influences your level of creativity. As a person starts to learn a language, they get familiar with the culture of the place where that language is spoken. The more you learn about new cultures, the more you’ll look at the world around you from different perspectives. The change of views will make you more original, elaborate, and flexible—all qualities of being a creative person.

In addition, learning a new language forces your brain to put words together in creative ways, which stimulates your brain and boosts your creativity. This creativity will spill over into other aspects of your life too. Plus, experts say that being creative improves your well-being , And who are we to argue with experts?

5. It Improves Your First Language

benefits-of-learning-a-new-language

One learns the mother tongue intuitively and without any formal education. Being raised in a society where a particular language is spoken, children start to pick up the language they hear.

However, learning another language is a whole different deal. From the beginning, you’ll get introduced to grammar, vocabulary, idioms, and sentence structure. As you learn more about the second language, you become more conscious of what you know in the first language. While before you couldn’t quite explain the abstract rules and language structure, learning a new language helps you put names to what you learned instinctively in the first language.

Furthermore, you become aware of the differences in structure, vocabulary, grammar, idioms, and sentence structure between the two languages. All of these factors improve comprehension and conversation and can make you better at your first language.

6. You Build Multitasking Skills

Not many people are good at multitasking. However, this often doesn’t apply to bilingual people. They are some of the most experienced when it comes to multitasking. Their brain has been practicing in switching from one language to the other daily. When the brain gets used to this demanding job of switching from one language to another, it isn’t difficult for them to use this skill in other tasks, too.

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A study done by the National Institutes of Health concluded that bilinguals switch tasks faster than monolinguals. They found that bilingual children in their research responded quite well to their multiple computer tasks in comparison to their monolingual fellows.

Other research also found that bilinguals demonstrate more efficient brain functioning than non-bilinguals, and a bilingual person’s brain maintains better task-switching even as they get older.

7. It Slows Down Cognitive Decline

If you still haven’t started and needed another incentive to start learning a new language, here’s one. Learning a language may reduce your chances of getting early onset of cognitive impairments. More than 16 million people in the United States live with cognitive impairment , be it Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or any other disorder. The latest study on the effect of bilingualism in cognitive aging found that people who spoke more than one language regardless of their gender, ethnicity, and occupation experience the onset of cognitive decline four years and a half later than the ones who spoke only one.

While knowing a second language is not exactly the fountain of youth, it definitely helps keep your brain younger.

8. It Improves Your Memory

The brain is compared to muscles for one reason. Seeing that the more physical exercises you do, the more the muscles strengthen and get larger. This aspect applies to the brain too. The more you challenge it, the more the brain expands, and the better it functions.

You can think of learning a language as an exercise for the brain. Having first to understand and then later recall multiple grammar rules and vocabulary, strengthens the memory muscle. That’s why people who know more than one language are more likely to retain information. They’re way better at remembering lists, names, cell phone numbers, and directions than monolinguals.

Don’t believe that? There is actual evidence that learning vocabulary boosts memory . So, delve into another language and give your brain a good workout to strengthen your memory.

9. It Boosts Your Self-Esteem

No one wants to be put in the spotlight, especially when talking in a foreign language when the chances of making mistakes are quite high. Yet, this is what characterizes language learning. It breaks you out of your shell again and again that eventually, you’ll feel comfortable in every situation regardless of whether you’re making mistakes or not.

Nothing beats the confidence you feel when talking to a native speaker in their language. That’s when your self-esteem will sky-rocket. Becoming proficient in a language is like mastering any other skill. Once you’re there, you’ll feel confident and nice about yourself.

The benefits of learning another language are innumerable. Those that we mentioned in our list are just a part of them. Yet, no matter how many lists are out there, no one can convince you of the benefits as much as your own language learning experience will. With that in mind, choose a language that you find exciting and appealing and open the door to the many benefits that come with language proficiency.

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The Bottom Line

Learning a second language is a valuable investment in yourself that can provide numerous benefits, from enhancing cognitive abilities to broadening career opportunities and facilitating cultural exchange. By exploring the world through language, you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for different perspectives and cultures. 

If you’re interested in pursuing language learning, the University of Potomac offers a range of courses and programs to help you achieve your goals. Don’t hesitate to explore your options and take the first step towards expanding your horizons.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefit of learning a second language.

Learning a second language has numerous benefits, such as improving cognitive abilities, enhancing communication skills, broadening career opportunities, facilitating travel and cultural exchange, and even delaying the onset of age-related mental decline.

How can I learn a second language?

There are several ways to learn a second language, such as taking classes, using language learning software or apps, practicing with native speakers, watching movies or TV shows with subtitles, listening to music or podcasts, and reading books or news articles in the target language.

What is the most useful 2nd language to learn?

The most useful second language to learn depends on your personal goals and interests and the cultural and economic context you are in. However, some of the world’s most widely spoken and influential languages are English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese.

What are the two hardest languages to learn?

Mandarin Chinese and Arabic are often considered the two hardest languages for English speakers to learn due to their complex writing systems, tonal pronunciation, and grammatical structures that differ significantly from English.

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Persuasive Essay: The Benefits of Learning a Second Language

Have you ever had this thought, “What will look good on my college application?” Most students have. There is one thing that can influence a college’s or company’s decision for the better about accepting or hiring a person, and this is by learning a second language. As people from other countries continue to immigrate into America, it is becoming more important than ever to learn a second language, even simply to appear more marketable and have something to set an applicant apart from their competitors. One of these benefits includes how great it looks on applications for just about anything. Others include the convenience when traveling, making new friends, improving the fluency of the speaker’s native language, having a type of a secret code among friends, and preventing Alzheimer’s. There are many reasons for knowing multiple languages that look good on applications. First, on college applications, it shows that the applicant is willing to devote time and energy into learning something. This in turn, will show the reviewer that you would be willing to work hard on college studies as well. On a job application it makes an employee more marketable because even if it is an employee at McDonald’s, there is always the possibility that a customer might not speak English. If you know this other language you would be able to communicate with the customer. Also focusing on the McDonald’s example, if an applicant and another potential employee had exactly the same qualifications the company would look for little things to set the two apart. The fact that you know another language is a huge achievement. That makes the person unique when compared to other candidates. Another reason is that many companies have sister companies in other parts of the world or do business with companies in other locations. Knowing the language of the other company’s country would make someone stand out in the sea of applicants. By knowing this language the applicant would be able to communicate with people from the company to solve problems. This could also increase the possibility to travel abroad to the location. One major part of learning a language is often being able to travel to a foreign country. Being able to speak the native language has many benefits in and of itself. When you travel to another country you are truly representing America. David Barry made this, “Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.” By putting forth the effort to speak with people in their own language it shows that the traveler is doing their best to take care of themself in a different environment. The locals can see their effort and are more willing to help. It’s also good because this way the traveler can navigate, go to restaurants, and speak with the locals without the help of a friend or translator. Speaking to the locals is often a highlight of many people’s trips. It gives insight on a new way of life and can develop new friendships. It is easy to get to know people with whom we have much in common. These are people with whom we would most easily bond.. Now, what if these people spoke two entirely different languages? They may not even meet each other simply because they couldn’t understand each other. If one or both of them learned the other person’s language, they could create a lifetime friendship. Especially with social networking at an all-time high, the ability to converse with people from around the globe becomes easier each time a new website is created. Often times the creators learn other languages to help their website to appeal to people of other cultures. Many scholars, authors, artists, poets, and other people of professions that require an excellent grasp of their own language, study another language as well. This is often because learning another language helps to improve your English. For most people, the beauty of their own language is taken for granted because they have nothing to compare it to. When studying a foreign language students are able to see how the sentence structure differs from their own language as well as the vocabulary and conversational aspects. Often times, people are taken aback when studying languages such as French or Spanish due to how melodic the sentences sound. Or, as is the case with languages such as Chinese or Japanese, people are confused, but intrigued, at how the simple change in pitch can create a new word. The way that ideas are presented in other languages are often different than they are presented in English. Learning another language can help you to construct your sentences in a way that is more meaningful, creative, and precise than it would have otherwise been. With this, an author’s writing will become more fluid and will have an effect on more people. One fun reason to learn another language is that if the student has study it with a friend, both of you can converse without others knowing what you are saying. This is something that can be immensely helpful when speaking to family about private matters while out in public, or making important decisions in public. For example, a person may be making a large purchase, such as a car, and want to discuss some of its issues but you don’t want to have others eavesdropping. In this situation you could use your other language, especially if it is a language that not many people study, to talk to whoever came along with you. Eavesdropping is something that everyone does, but also something that everyone hates. This problem is easily avoided if the student studies a language that not many people study. Another way to help this is if you can find someone to study with. That, in and of itself, is encouragement. It keeps you accountable and learning with a friend is much more enjoyable. Did you know that there is an effective way to help the minds of you and your loved ones? An average of 1,252 people per day are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. With the astonishing numbers such as this one, about a million people are affected indirectly, at least, each day; Alzheimer’s disease is a real concern to most people. As may develop Alzheimer’s or another type of cognitive disorder as they age. Many studies have found that bilingual people, who begin to develop these types of disorders, although their physical condition may be similar, retain normal mental ability for much longer. Monolingual people begin suffering the effects much sooner. Although they both suffer, these studies suggest that it can prevent the onset Alzheimer’s for as long as a few years before it the disease takes its toll on their brain. This is because the part of your brain that it first affects is protected by the exercise you have provided it with. This “exercise” is how the brain keeps from meshing the two languages together in your mind. Learning this new language helps because it creates new neural pathways, the more neural pathways that are created, the more “backup” the brain has once the disease starts to have an effect. What many people don’t realize until it’s too late is that prevention is often preferable to the treatment. With so many benefits at the price of about an hour a day, it is shocking that more people are not learning new languages. Even those who already know a second language can only be benefited by the new knowledge of another language. People who live in a larger city, one which has a community of Chinese, Italian, or Hispanic population along with many others, have the advantage of being submerged in another language. By showing an interest in learning the language anyone can gain new friends, a healthier brain, a new secret code against the narrow minded, and a new skill to create an outstanding résumé. As an added bonus, studies show that the easiest way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. As students, increasing the number of skills to add to applications for college is crucial. It shows that the student is hardworking, well rounded, and has ambition. As difficult as learning a language can be, it is well worth the time, money, and energy spent on the endeavor.

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essay on learning a second language

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What are the Benefits of Learning a Second Language?

essay on learning a second language

Bilingualism, which means speaking more than one language, allows a person to communicate with a larger number of people. Some research suggests that speaking more than one language may also improve brain function. We wanted to see whether the relationship between improved brain function and being bilingual differed based on how well or how much a person uses their second language. To ask our question, we recruited a group of high school students who spoke both Mandarin and English. Because speaking two languages is thought to improve how well a person performs on certain tasks, we thought that the students who were better at their second language would have better performance on those tasks. Our findings support the idea that developing your second language, especially if you speak it well, can improve the way your brain functions. Keep reading to learn about our research!

Why Use Your Second Language?

Most people on Earth can speak at least two languages—they are bilingual . Speaking more than one language allows a person to communicate with a larger number of people. Bilingual people have an easier time when they travel to other parts of the world. They can also work and study outside of their home countries. Research shows that both languages a bilingual person speaks are active in the brain at the same time [ 1 ]. This means a bilingual person must inhibit or “turn off” an unneeded language to communicate successfully. The experience of inhibiting an unneeded but active language may actually help the brain by improving a person’s executive function , which is a set of mental processes that coordinate our thinking and behavior [ 2 ] (To learn more about executive function, see this Frontiers for Young Minds article .). Scientists who study this topic call this brain boost the bilingual advantage .

Not all scientists agree that speaking two languages helps the brain [ 3 ]. Even those that do agree are not exactly sure how being bilingual improves brain function. Some claim that bilingual people have better inhibition . In other words, they are better at ignoring distractions like noise when they are having a conversation. Others say bilingual people are better at monitoring , which means they are better at paying attention to their environments. For example, they might be better at noticing when a person switches from using one language to another. The way that speaking two languages improves brain function seems to depend a lot on the person and their individual language experience [ 4 ].

Do People Have Different Language Experiences?

It turns out that bilingual people differ a lot in their language experiences including how well they use their languages and how much they use them. For example, a teen from China who speaks Chinese (Mandarin) and English might never use English in their home country. However, they would use it a lot if they attended school in the UK. Bilingual people in the same city also differ a lot in their language habits. A Mandarin-English bilingual person studying in the UK might have a group of friends who always speak Mandarin, while another might have more diverse friends and may communicate in English more often. We wanted to see if these differences between bilingual people influenced executive functions. This means we had to find a way to measure language experience.

How did we Measure Language Experience?

There are many ways to measure language experience. We used a survey called the Language History Questionnaire [ 5 ]. This survey requires a person to answer questions about each language they use. These questions ask things like how well the person can speak, listen, read, or write in each language. The survey also asks how many hours each day the person uses a language. This survey gave us three separate scores that we used to measure language experience: 1) proficiency —how well a person can speak, listen, read, or write in a language; 2) immersion —how long a person has used or been exposed to a language, and; 3) dominance —how often a person uses a language. Together, these scores allowed us to describe a person’s language experience in a lot of detail.

How did we Measure Executive Function?

To test for differences in executive function, we used two popular tasks. The Simon task requires a person to press a button as quickly and accurately as possible when a certain color shape is shown on a screen ( Figure 1 ). For example, a person might be told to press the “Q” button on a computer keyboard with their left hand when they see a brown square, or the “P” button with their right hand when they see a blue square. What makes this task tricky is that the shapes are shown on either the left or right side of the screen. This means that sometimes a person will have to press a button with their right hand when a shape is on the same (right) side of the screen. These congruent trials are easy. However, sometimes a person will have to press a button with their right hand when a shape is on the left side of the screen. The conflict between the side of the screen the shape is on and the response key makes these incongruent trials more difficult. The flanker task is similar to the Simon task, only the conflict is due to a center arrow pointing in the opposite direction of the four surrounding arrows ( Figure 2 ).

Figure 1 - (A) On the Simon task, students had to press the left button when a blue square appeared.

  • Figure 1 - (A) On the Simon task, students had to press the left button when a blue square appeared.
  • This is easy when the square is on the same side as the button. (B) However, this task is harder when the square is on the opposite side as the button! Dashed lines show the response button location.

Figure 2 - (A) On the flanker task, students had to press the left button if the center arrow was pointing to the left.

  • Figure 2 - (A) On the flanker task, students had to press the left button if the center arrow was pointing to the left.
  • This is easy when all the arrows face the same direction. (B) However, this task is harder when the center arrow is pointing in the opposite direction from the other arrows! Solid lines show the information the student needed to pay attention to, and dashed lines show the information that may help (A) or distract (B) the student.

How did we Answer our Question?

We worked with an international high school in Southern China to conduct our study. This school is special because all the students are native Mandarin speakers, but all their courses are taught in English. We recruited 41 students between the ages of 13–19 and had them complete a few tasks on the Internet. First, each participant filled in the Language History Questionnaire and answered other questions about how often they play video games or musical instruments. Next, they completed the Simon and flanker tasks in random order. Even though these tasks are very similar, studies like ours normally ask people to do more than one task to see if the results are the same. Finally, the students answered a few questions about their stress levels. For each task, we measured how quickly students gave their responses, and whether their responses were correct or not. We included video game and musical instrument experience as well as other variables like age and stress in our analyses to control for their influence on task performance. This helps us to be sure that the results we see have to do with language experience and are not due to other factors.

What did we Find?

Our results were different for each task and each measure of language experience. On the Simon task, higher English proficiency was related to better inhibition, even when we controlled for the influence of other variables ( Figure 3 ). This means students with better English ability were faster on the more difficult, incongruent trials. In other words, they were better at inhibiting the automatic response of pressing the button that matched the side of the screen the shape was presented on. When controlling for other variables, we found the same result when we looked at the number of hours people spent playing musical instruments. This means playing an instrument might further improve inhibition. For the flanker task, higher English proficiency was related to improved monitoring. This means students with higher English proficiency were faster on congruent, incongruent, and neutral trials. In other words, they were better at monitoring the task in order to identify which response was appropriate.

Figure 3 - (A) Higher English proficiency was associated with better inhibition (faster responses on incongruent trials) on the Simon task.

  • Figure 3 - (A) Higher English proficiency was associated with better inhibition (faster responses on incongruent trials) on the Simon task.
  • (B) Higher English proficiency was also associated with better monitoring (faster response on all trial types) on the flanker task. The colored lines represent the trial types. The blue lines show the difficult, incongruent trials. If we conducted our study again, we are 95% confident that our results would be somewhere in the shaded area around each line.

Surprisingly, students who reported using English more were slower on the flanker task. We did not expect to see this! We think this finding might mean that people using English more are trying to improve their proficiency and might pay more attention to the words they use—which would slow them down. However, this is just our best guess. We will need to conduct another study to see if our guess is correct. Finally, our results were a little different between the Simon and flanker tasks, even though these tasks are very similar. This finding also requires more research because it suggests that these tasks might be measuring slightly different things.

Why Are Our Findings Important?

Our results show that developing proficiency in a second language may improve executive function. We also saw additional improvements in executive function from playing musical instruments. This suggests that bilingualism is just one of many possible experiences that can benefit the brain. These findings are important for young people, especially those in bilingual homes. Sometimes, children do not feel like learning their family’s home language. This might be because it is not the language that the child uses when they go to school. More research is needed to better understand the benefits that using a second language has on the brain. This is especially true for high-school-age bilinguals because only a few studies have been done. We hope that our results highlight the potential benefits of learning a second language. While becoming bilingual is not easy, it is likely worth your time and energy. Who knows? You might even make a new friend!

Bilingual : ↑ A person who can use at least two different languages.

Executive Function : ↑ A set of mental processes, like updating, inhibition, and monitoring, that coordinate a person’s thoughts and actions.

Bilingual Advantage : ↑ A benefit in brain function from speaking two languages.

Inhibition : ↑ Component of executive function that helps people ignore distractions.

Monitoring : ↑ The ability to pay attention to the environment.

Congruent : ↑ Trials where there is no conflict between the stimulus and the response such as a flanker task trial where all arrows are pointing in the same direction.

Incongruent : ↑ Trials where the stimulus and the response conflict such as a flanker task trial where the center arrow is pointing in the opposite direction as the surrounding arrows.

Variable : ↑ A characteristic, like language proficiency, that can change and be measured.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Original Source Article

↑ Privitera, A. J., Momenian, M., and Weekes, B. S. 2022. Task-specific bilingual effects in Mandarin-English speaking high school students in China. Curr. Res. Behav. Sci. 3:100066. doi: 10.1016/j.crbeha.2022.100066

[1] ↑ Kroll, J. F., and Bialystok, E. 2013. Understanding the consequences of bilingualism for language processing and cognition. J. Cogn. Psychol. 25:497–514. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2013.799170

[2] ↑ Friedman, N. P., and Miyake, A. 2017. Unity and diversity of executive functions: individual differences as a window on cognitive structure. Cortex. 86:186–204. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.04.023

[3] ↑ Paap, K. 2019. “The bilingual advantage debate: quantity and quality of the evidence,” in The Handbook of the Neuroscience of Multilingualism , 701–35.

[4] ↑ Privitera, A. J., Momenian, M., and Weekes, B. 2022. Graded bilingual effects on attentional network function in Chinese high school students. Bilingual. Lang. Cogn . 1–11. doi: 10.1017/S1366728922000803

[5] ↑ Li, P., Zhang, F., Yu, A., and Zhao, X. 2020. Language history questionnaire (LHQ3): an enhanced tool for assessing multilingual experience. Bilingual. Lang. Cogn. 23:938–44. doi: 10.1017/S1366728918001153

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Foreign Language IELTS Essay: IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Samples

  • Updated On December 14, 2023
  • Published In IELTS Preparation 💻

Writing Task 2 of the IELTS exam has displayed a large variety of questions over the years. However, there are still some general themes and topics that are often repeated in Task 2 of this English proficiency test. One of these recurring themes is the new language or the foreign language theme.

Table of Contents

In this theme, you can be asked to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of learning a different language belonging to any of the foreign countries. Additionally, you can also be asked to express your own opinion on the topic. This blog shares detailed information about Foreign Language IELTS Essay. Before we get deeper into the topic and start discussing model answers, let’s walk through some general tips that can help you in leaving a good impression on the examiner about your English language skills in task 2.

Foreign Language IELTS Essay

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Tips to Ace the Foreign Language Essay Writing Task 2 IELTS

Although you can find an endless number of relevant examples for the essay writing task in IELTS, there really is no fixed format that can guarantee you a good band score in the writing section. So, what really works in helping you get a good score in task 2?

  • A strong introduction and conclusion that are in coherence with the topic assigned: This will immediately get your examiner hooked onto the paragraphs written inside your piece and will leave a great impression on them!
  • Use of refined vocabulary along with excellent use of grammar: Making use of good (and sometimes complex) vocabulary accompanied by an accurate usage of the English grammar is a pre-requisite for getting a good score in writing. It shows the examiner that your own knowledge of the language is vast.
  • Providing relevant examples from different parts of the world: Many aspirants miss out on supporting their arguments along with good examples from either their own country or a different country. This leads to them losing out on marks in task 2.

Following these three tips will really catapult your writing task 2 score, which will have a greater impact on your overall band score for the writing section. To make the application of these tips more clear, let’s take a look at some of the sample answers for the foreign language theme.

Foreign Language IELTS Essay Samples

Question – Some people believe that the only reason for learning a new/foreign language is for travelling or working in a foreign land. While others argue that there are many more reasons as why someone should learn a new language apart from their native language. You have to discuss both these arguments and give your own opinion on the following topic. Make sure to give reasons for your answers and provide examples. Minimum word limit – 250 words

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Foreign Language IELTS Essay: IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Samples

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Foreign Language IELTS Essay: IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Samples

Sample Answer 1

Learning a second language or a foreign language is linked to many advantages that far surpass the sole reasons of learning a new language for travelling or working in a foreign land. However, for the sake of playing the devil’s advocate, I’ll say that some people belonging to a different school of thought consider better job opportunities and travelling to be the only motive behind learning a foreign language. I am of the opinion that there are other reasons like learning about a foreign culture, and the bright prospect of cognitive development that propel many monolingual people to study a new language. With ever-increasing globalization and the opening up of international barriers, more and more people choose to emigrate to new and foreign lands in the hope of better job prospects. This often requires them to learn a new tongue. For instance, many people prefer learning languages like English, Spanish, and French, rather than the Russian language because countries speaking the former tongues have shown more affinity towards emigrants and provide a multitude of better job opportunities. This makes many people believe that jobs and sometimes travel are the only driving forces for learning a new tongue, especially for a young learner. On the other hand, some people including myself have researched the pros and cons of learning a foreign language thoroughly and have found that the pros far outweigh the drawbacks. The onset of memory ailments like dementia can be slowed down by cognitive development that comes with learning a foreign language. Furthermore, multilingual people are more confident and can easily acclimate themselves to new and alien surroundings by the virtue of their communication skills that have been expanded and upscaled. They find it easy to overcome language barriers and truly become global citizens speaking the global language. In conclusion, to go through the tough process of honing effective communication skills in a third language or a second language, people realise that it is not just for the sake of travel or work that they are doing this process. Instead, it stems from a deeper love for the language and the confidence that speaking a new tongue instills in them. Question – When living in a foreign country where you have to speak a new language, you can face serious social and practical problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give reasons and examples in your answer and write at least 250 words.

Foreign Language IELTS Essay

Also Read: SAT Writing & Language Test 2022

Sample Answer 2

Language barriers arguably form the backbone of the biggest social and practical problems that people living in a foreign land have to face and overcome often. In my personal opinion, it can also spark serious problems in various countries, however, the widespread use of technology in curbing these issues to a certain extent over the past few decades. People belonging to different cultures can have issues in understanding each other because of speaking different languages and sometimes even because of different ways of pronunciation of the same words. Migration is not on the rise in the twenty-first century and people often move to distant lands in hopes of jobs, travel, and sometimes studying. In such a scenario not speaking the land’s language can become a basis for social problems like discrimination, racism, etc. Interestingly enough, technology has played a pivotal role in curbing the extent of practical problems faced by people when moving to a new land without being savvy with the foreign language. For instance, there are many web-based applications that do the translation job for people and save them the trouble of having to explain their point to the natives merely through vague hand gestures.

By way of conclusion, I stand firm on the point that social problems can far exceed practical problems when migrating to a foreign land without being fluent in the foreign language and perhaps, some language learning could really help in becoming a part of the foreign culture quicker and better. Although, as far as practical problems are concerned, technology is a boon that is eliminating most of them.

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1. how do i practice the ielts writing at home.

Ans: The best way to  practice  writing for IELTS is by looking at sample answers and practising as many themes as you can. You can also show this to a tutor or an online learning platform’s mentors like the ones at  Leap Scholar  to ensure that you are on the right path.

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Ans: There is no single ideal format for writing. As you practice you will notice that for different themes, you can have many different formats. You should use the one you’re most confident with in the exam.

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Benefits of Learning a Second Language Essay Sample

Language is a door through which you meet new people, cultures, and ideas. According to researchers, learning a second language in elementary school becomes the beginning of a new dimension of life. You can interact with more people, read new materials, and are more competitive when searching for a job.

At what age should you learn a second language? And how does age as well as the learning environment affect your ability to use the language? Here are filtered insights on learning a second language at any point in your life.

Expand your world of ideas

Ideas are expressed in different languages. Some of these ideas have never been translated. Others were diluted in the course of translation. By learning a second language, you get to interact with new ideas from books and materials you would never have encountered had you stuck to your first language.

Beyond the old ideas, you will be learning from the new-age scholars in the second language. You can read their books and manuals directly without relying on translators. As a result, your worldview will change. You have a global perspective of things, making you a more valuable person at work or when engaging in personal projects.

Improve your economic prospects

There are no disadvantages of learning a second language regardless of your age. Seniors are advised to learn a second language for use in improving their financial position at an advanced age. A second language will improve your economic prospects in several ways.

  • Employment – multinational companies are looking for multilingual employees to work in their foreign offices. Such positions come with better pay. You also have opportunities to work in more places, reducing your chances of unemployment. You may also use the language as a freelancer to improve your source of income. All these opportunities leave you in a better financial position.
  • Business – do you want to expand your business? Learn a new language. You can easily court new partners and associates. You also understand other cultures and markets better, resulting in better trading relations. You minimize the use of translators and interpreters in your business, improving your profit margins in the process.
  • Entrepreneurship – are you an entrepreneur looking to expand your reach? Do you have an app, website, or product that needs to get to a new market? It is time to learn a new language. Does learning a new language make you smarter in business? Yes! You get to interact with more people and ideas, improving your decision-making processes.

Enlarge your social circles

A new language helps you to interact with new people beyond those using your first language. For instance, a language like Spanish is spoken by over 559 million people around the world. By learning a few Spanish words, you can add more than half a billion people into your circle of interaction.

For a better brain

A new language will enlarge your brain capacity. I have heard people ask, when is it too late to learn a new language? Researchers discovered that a new language will refresh your brainpower. This resource is your go-to for argumentative essay writing https://en.ibuyessay.com/argumentative.html even in foreign language. Even at old age, the new language will improve your memory and make you feel younger.

The benefits of learning a second language can be split among your social, economic, and mental faculties. From improved memory to better employment opportunities, you have a reason to enroll for a second language.

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COMMENTS

  1. Learning a Second Language

    Scientific studies have proved that learning of a second language may result in the enhancement of the intellectual capabilities of an individual. As a result of learning a second language, a person's performance in arithmetic as well as his reading skills is greatly increased. This improvement is attributed to the fact that learning a new ...

  2. These are the benefits of learning a second language

    In short, native-born English speakers are far less likely to learn a second language than many other people. In the US, just 20% of students learn a foreign language. Meanwhile, in parts of Europe that figure stands at 100%. Across the whole of Europe the median is 92%, and is at least 80% in 29 separate European countries investigated by Pew ...

  3. Why You Should Learn a Second Language

    Let's have a look at some of the benefits of learning a second language. 1. It improves your memory. The more you use your brain to learn new skills, the more your brain's functions work. Learning a new language pushes your brain to get familiar with new grammar and vocabulary rules.

  4. How learning a new language changes your brain

    Just one week of learning a new language has a positive impact on students' levels of alertness and focus. This improvement was maintained with continuous language study of at least five hours a week. Moreover, this study encompassed learners from the age of 18 to 78, and the improvement in attention span was noted across all age groups.

  5. The Benefits of Multilingualism to the Personal and Professional

    The model in past research on second language learning has focused on the goal of attaining native speaker-like abilities in processing the second language. That model assumes, for the most part, that the two languages are independent of one another, an assumption that researchers now know to be incorrect. ... Essays illustrating fundamental ...

  6. The Benefits of Learning Languages

    Most of the world's history and art—its books, news, films, music, essays, stories, and online experiences—are in a language you don't (yet) know. ... you come to know and speak your first language better. Second, learning a third language is much easier than the second (especially for children). 4 Take a bold step toward communicating ...

  7. The benefits of learning a second language

    Learning a second language is exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers practical, intellectual and many aspirational benefits. In today's world, there are over 7,000 languages, and learning at least one will help you in life massively. Although it has been proven that it is easier for children to learn a second language, it is certainly ...

  8. Second Language Learning

    The study of second language learning/acquisition is a fairly recent phenomenon, belonging to the second half of the twentieth century. In the various periods of SLL research, there were conflicting views about the nature and development of the learner's language knowledge, depending on the prevailing linguistic theory of the time (for a detailed discussion, see Ellis 2008).

  9. My Experience of Learning a New Language

    The essay on "My Experience of Learning a New Language" is a well-written piece that effectively communicates the author's personal experience of learning a new language. The organization of the essay is logical, with a clear introduction that sets the context and a conclusion that provides a reflection on the experience.

  10. Why Students Should Learn a Second Language

    Learning a second language enhances cognitive flexibility, cultural empathy, and global connectivity, opening doors to diverse opportunities. 1. Increase in Self-Confidence and Happiness. The journey of mastering a new language is a profound booster of self-confidence and overall happiness for students.

  11. Essay on Learning a Second Language

    Essay on Learning a Second Language. Published: 2021/12/16. Number of words: 1556. Reading and writing are essential in one's ability to learn a distant language. Learning a new dialect can be exhaustive and complex; it demands hard work and dedication. An individual fluent in multiple languages can engage and interact with the world more ...

  12. Why Is It Important to Learn Another Language (Essay Sample)

    Benefits Of Learning A Second Language. It is hard to overstate the benefits of learning a foreign language. In this section, we will explore some of the key benefits of straining your mind and body to learn a new language. Stimulates The Brain. Time and time again, studies have proved that learning a new language stimulates the brain. In ...

  13. 9 Benefits of Learning a Second Language

    2. 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.

  14. The Importance Of Learning A Second Language Essay

    Learning languages allows enriching life experience, creating new ideas, to exercise the brain, gain benefit from the world's cultural diversity and improve the professional prospects considerably. Nowadays, many people are becoming aware of learning a second language because is required to have the ability of using a second language in any place.

  15. What Are the Benefits of Learning a Second Language?

    Preply 1-on-1 With 1-on-1 tutoring on Preply, you can choose from thousands of verified and qualified tutors across English, Spanish, and many other languages and subjects. In English alone, tutors specialize in a range of disciplines from teaching kids to business English. Choosing 1-on-1 lessons has many benefits, such as developing a custom learning plan that matches your specific requirements.

  16. Persuasive Essay: The Benefits of Learning a Second Language

    Learning this new language helps because it creates new neural pathways, the more neural pathways that are created, the more "backup" the brain has once the disease starts to have an effect ...

  17. What are the Benefits of Learning a Second Language?

    Speaking more than one language allows a person to communicate with a larger number of people. Bilingual people have an easier time when they travel to other parts of the world. They can also work and study outside of their home countries. Research shows that both languages a bilingual person speaks are active in the brain at the same time [ 1 ...

  18. Foreign Language IELTS Essay: IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Samples

    Sample Answer 1. Learning a second language or a foreign language is linked to many advantages that far surpass the sole reasons of learning a new language for travelling or working in a foreign land. However, for the sake of playing the devil's advocate, I'll say that some people belonging to a different school of thought consider better ...

  19. Essay: Learning a Second Language

    Essay: Learning a Second Language. by: Ellen Bialystok, York University $2.79 Member Price $3.49 Nonmember Price. Add to Cart . Add to Wish List. Add to Collection. Login or Create a Free Account

  20. Advantages of Learning a Second Language Essay Sample

    Benefits of Learning a Second Language Essay Sample. Language is a door through which you meet new people, cultures, and ideas. According to researchers, learning a second language in elementary school becomes the beginning of a new dimension of life. You can interact with more people, read new materials, and are more competitive when searching ...

  21. Practice Teaching: The Nature of Teacher Learning

    J. Richards, T. Farrell. Published1 March 2011. Education. INTRODUCTION Your teaching-practice course aims to provide an opportunity for you to develop or improve your teaching skills through experiences provided by microteaching, by teaching in a second language classroom, and through reflecting on your teaching experience in discussions with ...