There are many misconceptions around language learning that tend to hold people back from learning foreign languages. Most people tend to believe that everyone speaks English, and so they don’t see why they should learn a new language while they can communicate well with people wherever they go. Others think that language classes are boring and it is a complete waste of time. After all, why struggle to master something new while translation tools can easily do the job in minutes? The truth is that learning a new language offers you a lot of economic, social and health benefits. Besides, the world is slowly becoming interconnected. You will need much more than Google Translate to engage with people that you encounter in a meaningful way.
Here are five good reasons why you should be signing for a foreign language class right about now.
Improved brain function
According to research, learning a foreign language makes you smarter in a number of fronts. For starters, multilingual people have shown to have improved memory as compared to monolinguals. This goes on to benefit them in old age as it reduces the chances contracting dementia and old age memory loss. For school going individuals, memory retention helps them emerge the best in academic affairs. In addition, learning a foreign language improves the brain’s cognitive ability. As a result, it enhances concentration, critical thinking, listening skills and creativity. You also become better at multitasking, problem solving and adapting to new environments and situations easily.
More job opportunities
In the modern business world, business owners are now more geared towards expanding their operations overseas in a bid to elevate their business to the next level. Besides that, the world has become more cosmopolitan, it is easy to find people speaking different languages in the locality. That being said, businesses have the task of connecting meaningfully with the consumers if they are to make them loyal and repeat customers. That is where the need to have bilinguals in the workplace comes in. Companies are now looking for multilingual individuals to work in the call center services, marketing and customer care among other departments. This is simply to say, a new language in your resume gives you an edge in the highly competitive job market.
Allows you make deeper connections
One notable advantage of technology advancement is that it has opened up the world and reduced it to one global village. Today, you can connect with a friend from the other side of the world thanks to social media. Dating sites make it possible to connect with a love interest from anywhere in the world. Not forgetting that camping on the remote job boards can land you an employer miles away from you. Away from that, with technology eliminating geographical boundaries, there is no limit to where you can find business partners or clients if you are a businessman.
However, making meaning connections with these people goes beyond just chatting over the internet. If you are to truly connect with them, you need to understand their cultures on top of speaking their language
Makes traveling enjoyable
There is a difference between pointing at pictures when ordering food in a foreign restaurant, and actually mentioning the food by name while having small talks with the waiter. The latter is magical and instantly revolutionizes your trip to your favorite destination. Learning a foreign language allows you to interact with the locals better than you would if you were monolingual. It becomes easier to immerse yourself in the local culture and savor all what the place has to offer-talk of festivities, music, films, food and the like.
Makes you a better person
Monolingual individuals tend to look at people from different cultures in a different light. They may interact with them, but they rarely fully accept them. Learning a foreign language exposes you to a different culture away from the one that you are used to. This makes you more accepting of the way of life of the people speaking that language. In a way, you develop understanding, empathy, tolerance and a positive attitude towards others.
Clearly, speaking a foreign language exposes you to more possibilities that can grow you individually in many aspects. If you have been looking to become a new person, and enjoying life in terms of work and travel, learning a foreign language is a sure bet.