It would be fair to say that right now in 2018, there has never been a larger degree of multiculturalism and merging of nationalities and experiences as there is today. Things like the internet have made the world as small as it has ever been, and as a result, people from all corners of the globe are being introduced to cultures and possibilities for learning and growth that they might never have had before. So, what, do you think, is the best way to embrace this rapidly changing and expanding new world? Well, we happen to think that it involves the learning of a new foreign language that isn’t your native tongue. Here are just a few of many reasons why learning a foreign language is a positive and forward-thinking step in 2018.
1. Job Opportunities
Being able to speak another language confidently and proficiently will open up a whole world of great job opportunities for you in the future. With businesses all over the world looking to make inroads in foreign markets, the need for multilingual talent is higher than it has ever been, so it makes perfect career sense to put yourself in the middle of that conversation and at the front of the queue for potentially high paid positions in international companies.
2. Brain Boost
The ability to speak a language that isn’t your native tongue can do wonders for your brain, exercising parts of it that have never been used before, improving your memory, lengthening your attention span, and even reducing the risk of age related cognitive decline in later life. Working your brain like this can also help you to become stronger in other areas of academia too.
3. Multicultural Friendships
When you can speak another language, you open yourself up to world multicultural possibilities, and that includes being able to make friends and connections with people from different areas of the world than your own. On a really simple level, being able to exchange a few words in Italian with your local deli owner, for example, is a really pleasing and beneficial thing. Or ordering in Spanish at a local tapas restaurant rather than in slow, condescending English. You might find that you receive much better service!
4. Become More Interesting
When you have knowledge and experience of being able to speak a foreign language, you instantly become a more interesting person! We’re not saying that you should treat your language skills as something of a party trick to show off, but simply having an awareness and understanding of a different language will make you seem much worldlier and smart compared to those who have never tried to expand their horizon in such a way.
5. Smart Tourism
If you know how to speak the language of a country you are visiting on vacation, it allows you to have a much smarter and more well-informed tourist experience. You would be amazed by how much tourists are taken advantage of by locals who see that there is a language barrier, but if you can converse with them in their native tongue, they will not be able to pull some of the classic tricks that less understanding tourists often suffer.
6. Better Learner
You will find that through the experience of learning a secondary language, you will be able to apply these learning techniques to other areas of education to great effect. If you can study a foreign language and make it stick, then there is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t be able to excel in English, maths, history, science and everything else!
7. Conquer Insecurities
Learning a new language is a great exercise for you if you have a fear of ‘looking stupid’. When you are in a classroom full of people who are starting from exactly the same point as you, there is no need to feel insecure about your abilities. You will find that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, and that trying and failing is much, much better than not trying at all!