A Second Language Can Enhance Your Life Ahead
How does knowing a second language benefit you? If you think communication is the only advantage of knowing a language, you may want to think again. Learning a new language brings you many more gifts.
For A Longer Friend List
Let’s start with stating the obvious. You can connect to more people than you would otherwise. You can form a deeper connection with someone when you speak to them in their native language. Knowing someone’s native language improves your chances of becoming his or her best friend and secret keeper.
Not only does a second language give you more friends, but it also makes you more open-minded and tolerant toward cultures and practices that are different from your own. Empathy, which is an extremely powerful tool in making and maintaining connections, becomes an integral part of your personality. This will open doors to places you’ve never visited before. It is a great advantage if you are someone who likes to travel and explore different things around the world. If you are the only bilingual or multilingual person among your friends, you will be more popular than the rest of them because you have an asset to cherish.
A New Language And A Better Job
Moving on to the less popular, but equally interesting benefits of knowing a second language. Speaking more than one language can increase your chances of getting hired. Yes, it’s true! It was observed in the period 2010-2015 that most of the employers in the United States were inclined toward hiring individuals who are at least bilingual instead of those who are monolingual. The employers strongly believed that bilingual or multilingual employees add greater value not only to their team but to the organization as a whole.
A survey conducted in September 2014 by Eton Institute’s Language Development in the Workforce supported this fact by stating that 89% of their clients preferred multilingual team members to boost the overall performance of the team. With this number, it is clear that you will leave behind many of your competitors at work if you know more languages than they do. Being multilingual is, undoubtedly, the key to your success.
You may be wondering why people in America are particularly looking for candidates who can speak multiple languages. There are many reasons for this preference. When you know more people and you have a broad-minded approach to their cultures, practices and lifestyles, you become a better decision-maker. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone with that quality? That’s right! Knowing many languages polishes your decision-making skills. By blocking off the biases that accompany the mother tongue, learning more languages enhances your thinking, reasoning and problem-solving abilities. This becomes possible because you are now able to understand any situation, not only from your own but another person’s perspective. The ability will eliminate all possible obstacles that you may encounter in coming to conclusions that are acceptable to all.
Know More to Score Better
Learning a second or even a third language can be greatly beneficial to kids too. It not only adds the above-mentioned advantages to a child but makes him or her better at the subjects taught in school. Research has revealed that bilingual children perform better in tests related to mathematics, reading comprehension and vocabulary.
Adding more to your existing linguistic knowledge empowers your brain in more ways than you can imagine. Just like you update technology with the latest software, you must stimulate your brain with new information now and then. What better way to do this than learning a new language!
Be Conscious of Your Surroundings
A second language also takes your observation skills to the next level. A study conducted in the Spain’s University of Pompeu Fabra threw light on this interesting additional skill that is unique to second or third language speakers. These people are usually better at identifying misleading or irrelevant information than their monolingual counterparts.
A Master of the Memory Game
A part of smartness includes good memory. Knowledge of a second language takes care of that too. Second-language speakers can use this ability as a gym of their mind. Learning a new language acts as a mental exercise that maintains and enhances memory and other mental abilities. This means that names, numbers, directions, facts and figures will stay with you for a longer time if you are someone who speaks more languages than one.
Delay Aging With A Second Language
Have you ever wondered how you can postpone the occurrence of dementia? Here too a second language comes to your rescue. Several studies have shown that monolingual individuals experience symptoms of dementia a little earlier than bilingual or multilingual individuals. If the former experience signs of the disease at the age of 71, the latter are likely to begin experiencing signs around 75 years.
You become a better listener in the process of learning and mastering a second language. In an attempt to understand the exact pronunciation of words in a new language, you train your brain to be a keen listener. This habit in turn helps you understand others better and brings about better results of communication.
Improve the Native Language
By the way, learning a second language doesn’t mean you’ll forget the first one. On the contrary, your first language skills are also sharpened while you add something new to the list of known languages. In an unconscious comparison, you pick up flaws in your first-language-speaking skills and work on improvement. Isn’t that great? So, when are you learning a second language?