The Advantages of Studying a Foreign Language


From impressing people with the ability to translate the menu at an ethnic food restaurant, securing a lucrative international career, to just being able to speak the local language while visiting a foreign country, having the use of a second language at your disposal is sure to come in handy throughout your life. While the specific benefits depend on how an individual uses his language skills and knowledge, most people would agree that second language acquisition enriches their lives.


Increased Cultural Awareness

Learning a foreign language is perhaps the greatest insight into another culture. People often experience their world largely based on interpretation and communication. Learning a new way of interpretation and communication allows individuals to reflect on experiences in more than one perspective, creating greater awareness and appreciation for cultural differences and diversity.


Bigger Job Market

People who speak one or more foreign languages become increasingly more marketable in today’s global society. Foreign language skills are desired by multinational and international corporations, as well as most government and international organizations. Certain languages are in higher demand in certain areas of the world, so where the job market will increase for foreign language learners greatly depends on the language learned. Global languages such as French, English and Arabic increase job marketability on most continents. Regional languages such as German, Spanish and Dutch increase an individual’s marketability in certain industries and regions where these languages are more common.


Increased Competitiveness

Being bilingual/multilingual might not be a prerequisite for a job offer or to get admission o a learning program, stating extra languages as an additional skill will work to your advantage.


General Enrichment

Learning a second language enriches people’s lives in many unique ways that are often not known in advance. Knowing a second language increases an individual’s opportunity. Foreign language learners develop enhanced critical thinking skills and improve basic skills, even scoring better on standardized tests. For some people, learning a second language can completely change their lives, or the country they live in. Many students who study a foreign language also study abroad or travel abroad, further increasing their cultural competency.

Taken from 06.08.11