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5 Reasons To Learn a Language

Learning a language is one of the most commonly cited self-improvement goals - with good reason. There are numerous benefits associated with it, and it's a worthy endeavour for learners of all ages. 

In this article, we’ll discuss five different reasons why you should consider learning a language.

  1. It offers better employment prospects.

More and more companies are looking to outsource part of their operations to foreign hires, especially on a freelance basis, and they're always on the lookout for workers who can help with that. Of course, there are many traditional jobs that welcome multilinguals too, like teaching, law enforcement, and hotel management.

No matter what field you end up in, being able to speak a second language is a great way to show that "dedicated" and "adaptable" are more than just buzzwords on your CV. It takes skill and patience to master a language you're not raised with - traits every employer loves to see. 

  1. It's excellent practice in all spheres of learning - oral, written and visual.

There's a good reason so many parents in 2020 are pushing for their children to be raised bilingual. Learning a language is among the most complex and practical applications of intellect, one which opens many doors. 

In learning to speak, read, and write in a foreign language, students are constantly developing new ways of understanding word meanings and sentence structure. This promotes "neural plasticity" - the very trait that makes humans the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom. The benefits of developing this quality are numerous, but to keep things short, having a more plastic brain means you'll learn information quicker and easier, and retain it for longer. Learning a language could help you learn easier for life, no matter what you turn your attention to after.

  1. It provides opportunities to travel.

After the expense of accommodation and transport, a language barrier is the most commonly cited obstacle to travel. Simple tasks like ordering food or a taxi can be immensely stressful if you’re relying on Google Translate or a stranger's broken English to get you through the day. Being able to speak a second language removes that language barrier from the equation, allowing for a more relaxing and engaging trip.

You don't have to be fluent for this to apply, either. Most second-level graduates who've studied a language like Spanish, French, or German could manage just fine in a foreign country, if only for a while. Additionally, being able to speak a foreign language lets you avoid the tourist trap capital cities (where the highest level of English is spoken) and enjoy the peace of a countryside village instead!

  1. It opens a world of new ideas and new media for you to explore.

English-dubbed and subtitled foreign movies are bigger than ever in 2020 thanks to Netflix's international release policies, but even Netflix can't do all the work for you. There's still a wealth of foreign movies, television shows, books and music out there that you've probably never heard of. 

It may seem like a more trivial application of a second language than the others on this list, but consuming a diverse range of media is key to developing a good understanding of the world. Even just being able to understand another country's newscasts will afford many learning opportunities.

  1. It's a path to achieving cultural enrichment.

Learning another country's spoken language is the most direct way to connect to its culture. Being able to communicate with natives exposes you to traditions, religions, and life stories you'd never hear of otherwise. This, in turn, fosters an appreciation for that country's rich heritage and a greater sense of unity with the people of another nation.

While perhaps not an educational benefit, it's always a good thing to become more tolerant of others. Learning a language is an excellent way to do that. Studies show that children who've studied another language express more positive attitudes towards the culture associated with it, and the same holds true for adults as well.

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