The importance of learning a foreign language in the 21st century

The advantages of knowing a foreign language at an early age are widely known. Multilingual children are more imaginative, better problem solvers and more analytical. It’s also more straightforward to pick up a new language earlier in life, as you won’t question grammar rules, you won’t develop as strong an accent, and it will be fun, instead of a chore. However, picking up another language as an adult can still have multiple social and economic benefits. This article will outline the benefits of learning a second language for jobs, travelling and intelligence.

There are many benefits of learning a second language for travel. In order to learn a different language, you will also need to learn about another culture, making you increasingly understanding and empathetic of foreign nationalities. Linguists are also known to be stronger problem solvers, and consequently will be able to tackle travel challenges, such as getting lost or losing your passport. Understanding the language of the country you’re going to will also improve your safety. While you could use translation apps, like TripLingo, to converse in a stressful scenario, being multilingual speeds up interaction. There are also social benefits of learning a second language while on holiday, as you will be able to talk to the natives, who can give you restaurant and accommodation tips. You could also save money, as you will be able to negotiate at markets and won’t need to use a tour guide.

The need for multilingual recruits has doubled over the past five years, which means there are more economic benefits of learning a second language than ever. Bilingual people are in demand because they have skills such as creativity and problem solving. Moreover, learning a language confirms you’re able to commit to learning a new skill. Being bilingual also opens doors to a variety of industries, such as tourism, hospitality, translation and the military. There are also multiple benefits of learning a foreign language for business development, as bilinguals are able to network with individuals across the world. Bilingual employees are also vital for customer service. Sibur, for example, sells to 80 countries, which means they seek multilingual individuals to interact with international customers.

The list of cognitive benefits of bilingualism is never-ending. The Baycrest Rotman Institute has discovered that linguists use a lower number of brain resources to perform memory tasks. This helps to preserve brain health and defends against memory loss and cognitive decline. Therefore, people who can speak several languages are less likely to develop dementia. The cognitive benefits of learning a second language also influence people’s native language proficiency. Learning another language helps you to enhance writing, listening and speaking skills that are useful for both languages. Those who can speak multiple languages are also more analytical and have a better attention span, which enhances both personal and professional lives.

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