There are many benefits to learning a second language and it’s never too late to start. Here are some advantages of foreign language acquisition for both individuals and organisations:
1) Companies can access new business opportunities: organisations can expand their reach by exporting to markets where a foreign language is spoken. New markets represent opportunities to increase revenue by tapping into much larger revenue streams than those available locally.
2) More job opportunities for individuals: in addition to your main skill/s, listing one or more foreign languages on your CV automatically broadens your job opportunities. You will have an advantage over other candidates applying for the same position and may even be able to negotiate a better compensation package.
3) Cognitive impact: a new language forces our brains to work harder, especially having to switch between two or more languages: grammar rules, pronunciation and cultural nuances. This improves brain function by helping us to think more critically, improve memory, multitask and manage time.
4) Improved skills in mother tongue: learning vocabulary, conjugation, grammar and sentence structure in a new language helps us to improve skills in our mother tongue. Speaking in our native tongue is second nature and we don’t automatically observe the mechanics of our own language until we start to study a second language.
5) Cultural awareness: by learning a new language, we immerse ourselves in a whole new culture, lifestyle and mentality. Some believe that bilingual persons have two souls and are more sympathetic to those different to themselves. Being proficient in two languages is similar to experiencing two worlds or living two lives simultaneously.
These are just a few benefits of foreign language acquisition.
What others can you add to this list?
How has knowledge of a foreign language benefitted you?
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