What are the benefits of learning a new language?What are the challenges in learning a new language?
“Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrátThere are many reasons to learn a new jsi language, from working in another člověkem.” country to discovering your You live a roots, through intellectual new life for curiosity, romance, travel, and secret every new communication. language youLearning a new language takes time and speak. dedication. The reasons below may help If you know to convince you to take the plunge, if only one such persuasion is needed. Some reasons language, you live only are practical, some aspiration, some once. intellectual and others sentimental, but (by: Czech whatever your reasons, having a clear proverb) idea of why youre learning a language can help to motivate you in your studies.
When you move to a different country orregion, learning the local language will helpyou to communicate and integrate with thelocal community. Even if many of the localsspeak your language, for example if your L1 is English and you move to the Netherlands, its still worth your while learning the local language. Doing so will demonstrate your interest in and commitment to the new country.
If your partner, in-laws, relatives or friends speak a different language, learning that language will help you to communicate with them. It will also give you a better understanding of their culture and way of thinking
If your work involves regular contact with speakers of foreign languages, being able to talk to them in their own languages will help you to communicate with them. It may also help you to make sales and to negotiate and secure contracts. Knowledge of foreign languages may also increase your chances of finding a new job, getting a promotion or a transfer overseas, or of going on foreign business trips.Many English-speaking business people dont bother to learn other languages because they believe that most of the people they do business with in foreign countries can speak English, and if they dont speak English, interpreters can be used. The lack of foreign language knowledge puts the English speakers at a disadvantage. In meetings, for example, the people on the other side can discuss things amongst themselves in their own language without the English speakers understanding, and using interpreters slows everything down. In any socialising after the meetings, the locals will probably feel more comfortable using their own language rather than English
Missionaries and other religious types learn languages in order to spread their message. In fact, missionaries have played a major role in documenting languages and devising writing systems for many of them. Others learn the language(s) in which the scriptures/holy books of their religion were originally written to gain a better understanding of them. For example, Christians might learn Hebrew, Aramaic and Biblical Greek; Muslims might learn Classical Arabic, and Buddhists might learn Sanskrit.
Learning a second To better understand language has been the rest of humankindproven to delay the Language is an aspect onset of dementia of humanity, and learning what a fellow human speaks teaches you more about humankind as a whole. The more languages you know, the more you understand our species, and that is beneficial no matter what the situation is.
Those who become fluent in a language that is not their native tongue experience a number of second language benefits they might not have expected originally. In some parts of the world, children grow up surrounded by more than one language and develop the ability to speak in multiple languages very naturally. In areas of the world that are culturally more monolingual, learning a second language is a much more challenging endeavor. After childhood, the areas of the brain that are responsible for language acquisition become more fixed, and the process of picking up additional languages becomes more academic and less organic. However, the need for more and more people tolearn a second language has never been higher. As globalization increases, the old boundaries that separated language groups are becoming increasingly blurred by the relative ease of travel, advances in technology, and internationally focused economic systems. As a result, second language benefits have never been more valuable.
While each individual will have his or her own reasons for learning a second language and experience unique rewards, some of the benefits of learning a second language are universal.
Historically, the main motivating factor for learning a new language has been money. In fact, the spread of certain languages and thedevelopment of others would not have occurred were it not for the need for people to trade with one another. People living in port towns who worked around shipping markets would often develop a pidgin, or a simplified language used exclusively to conduct business. Over time, pidgins can evolve into complete languagesystems spoken by people in a region that are not involved in trade. Today, while pidgins are not as widely used, the need for communication between speakers of different languages has never been more urgent. International corporations are headquartered out of multiple cities in multiple continents, and employees are often expected to function fluently in several languages. Additionally, increasingly disparate economic realities across the globe are fueling new migration patterns as people seek out better opportunities for themselves and their families. Languages are inevitably brought with them, and communities are finding themselves needing to function in new languages in order to maximize potential new markets.
Less pragmatic than the economic reasons for learning a second language, but no less important, are the cultural second language benefits. Groups are defined not so much by who is in them, but by who is kept out of them. When communities cannot communicate witheach other, they suffer because they cannot participate in the free exchange of ideas. Relationships cannot be easily forged at either an individual or collective level, which impacts everything from romantic connections to religious tolerance. When people can communicate comfortably in a sharedlanguage, they naturally learn more about one another. The more they learn, the less they see one another as"others." Being able to exchange cultural information as simple as a recipe or the traditions behind seasonal or religious celebrations goes a long way towards forming meaningful bonds between communities.
One of the most overlooked benefits of learning a second language is the underlying linguistic knowledge that is acquired. Since the acquisition of native languages is such an involuntary process, many of the rules of language form and structure are not consciously understood as much as they are naturally accepted. When an individual is faced with the challenge of learning a language later in life, the process is much a much more conscious, academic, and theoretical one.Rules, structures, and forms are identified and committed to memory while the learners work to incorporate those new structures into their linguistic repertoires. The act of identifying structures and forms in a new language goes a long way towards being able to recognize similar aspects in the learners native language. Often, the process of learning a new language actually improves the learners understanding of their native language as well.
Learning a new language develops your oral and written skills - even in your native language. These are among the first skills at which employers look. Increased activity in international business, government and tourism has created a need for improved understanding and communication. The number of careers that require a major in a foreign language is increasing. Insight into a particular culture and capacity to learn languages will interest employers in a variety of fields including education, social work, health services, business, banking, insurance, advertising, travel, publis hing and public service. Starting salaries for students graduating with proficiency in one or more foreign languages are at least 20 percent higher than for students who speak English only.
•Training in foreign languages is essential forjobs with multinational companies, in theU.S. Foreign Service and numerous othergovernmental agencies.•With a minor in TEFL (Teaching English as aForeign Language), youll be prepared toteach English as a foreign languageoverseas.
Once you have decided to learn a language, you may not be quite sure which language to choose. To some extent, your choice depends on your reasons for learning a language. For example, if youd like to communicate with as many people aspossible, learning such languages as Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian or Arabic would enable you to do so.
Theres a wide range of materialsand tools available to help you with your language studies, including language courses, dictionaries, grammar books, phrasebooks, online lessons, mp3 players and electronic translators.
Finding time to learn a language can be quite a challenge. You may think that you dont really have enough of it, but its surprising how many spare moments you have during a typical day, and how they can add up to a useful amount of study time.
After choosing a language, you can start thinking about how youre going to study it. For popular languages like French and Spanish, theres a wealth of materials available. For lesser-studied languages, the choice can be more limited. If courses are available in your area, it might help you to attend them, or you may prefer to study on your own, or to have individual lessons.
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