5 reasons to learn a language
Now we are slightly biased of course, but you really should think about learning a language. And why not Spanish? If you happen to find yourself in or around Manchester in the UK visit our Spanish courses Manchester page to find out more. Otherwise, let’s dive into 5 of the most important reasons to learn a language.
I mean you’ve probably heard that learning a foreign language has a lot of benefits. In fact, the list of benefits is quite extensive! If you find yourself looking back to your school days and thinking “I don’t think I got anything out of learning French”, then just ask any adult learner how they’re benefiting from learning a foreign language. They’ll definitely tell you a range of benefits they’ve found.
Alternatively, keep reading and we’ll let you know our top 5 reasons for learning a language.
1. Opens the mind
To learn a language also means to learn about not the language, but also, and perhaps more importantly, the culture. Language and culture are intrinsically connected to the core. You can’t have one without the other. Learning more about a foreign culture requires you to open your mind. You have to be able to see the world from a different perspective.
For example, the Spanish words “siesta” and “tapas” are basically untranslatable into English, because we don’t have these two cultural phenomena in our culture. To understand what the Spanish mean by these words, you have to understand their cultural significance.
By learning a foreign language, you learn more about cultural differences, and you become more open-minded and less prejudiced. So it’s a win, win, win situation!
2. Improved analytical skills
Part of learning a language is trying to figure out what is going on in the language and in the culture. To do this, you really have to either be able to take a step back and look at the situation at a distance, or you have to learn this skill.
Taking that step back and figuring out the details of a sentence, a grammatical tense or a cultural phenomenon are all examples of applying and developing good analytical skills.
You’ll find when you meet polyglots that they have finely tuned analytical skills. The reason for this will be partly due to their education, but also partly due to them constantly fine-tuning this skill by learning foreign languages.
3. Earn more money
While the benefits of learning a language are often personal and add to your character, there are also financial benefits. Yes, it may cost you money initially to start a language course or find a language tutor, but in the long run you should see a return on investment.
Why? Well, first of all because you have more skills and abilities, so that has to be valued by your employer. We go more into this in our post on corporate Spanish training. But more importantly, knowing a second language opens up a wealth of jobs that would have been closed to you. Very often, these jobs pay more because they require you to have a specific and specialized skill: to speak and write a second language.
In fact, it’s estimated that 4 out of 5 every jobs in the western hemisphere are created directly as a result of international trade. That statistic alone shows the growing need for more multilingual staff at companies!
4. Increased creativity
Language learners often report that they notice an overall increase in their creativity. Sometimes they are surprised as to why. But when you think about it, learning a foreign language means having to practise a lot. But what has practice got to do with creativity?
Well, in class you’re often asked hypothetical questions, to which there’s no real answer, so you’ll need to create one. Language tutors often ask their learners to assume a particular role, like being a shop assistant or being a departmental manager. Unless this is your day job, you’ll need to be creative and imagine yourself in these roles.
And what about outside of class? Think about how often language learners sit at home creating unique and unusual sentences, talking to themselves in the mirror and imagine conversations and situations. All of this practice is good for you language development and for your creativity.
5. Better knowledge of your own language
It’s hard to learn a language without looking at grammar. In fact, we’d say it’s pretty much impossible. But if you don’t know much about grammar, how can you possibly go about learning it?
Language learners often say they become much more knowledgeable about their own language from learning a foreign language. This is because to talk about grammatical tense, aspect or gender, you need to be able to understand these concepts in your own language first.
Translation often plays a part of many language courses around the globe. To translate from a foreign language into your mother tongue, you need to have a good grasp of grammar and style. Learners often find they become better writers in their own language by learning a foreign language.
So there you have it. Our 5 top reasons to learn a foreign language. Have you already started learning and come across some of these benefits? If you have, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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A polyglot and international traveller. Anthony speaks 6 languages and loves sharing his passion of language learning through his writing.
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