In this well researched article you would read top benefits of learning a second language as well as some drawbacks of learning a second language.
The world has indeed become a global village and there are currently 195 countries in the world. All of them with different cultures and languages. You never know that even one country has distinct languages for their regions. So there is a total of some 6909 languages as registered by the Ethnologue.
So you can well imagine the diversity of people living in the world-leading many different cultures. People are always enthralled to see new cultures and learn about them. All of this becomes only possible if there is a learning of a second language.
Anyone can only imagine of the possibilities that you can unlock when exposed to a new language. So here we are to elaborate to you the very Benefits and Drawbacks of learning a second language.
10 Benefits of Learning a Second Language
1. Meeting new people
Foreign language means getting to communicate with others hence you are connecting with them. Count them into the social benefits of learning a second language that gives you the edge to bring a new horizon to your social circle.
For Korean as a foreign language, there have been observed that it increasing teachers and students interaction and it always does with foreign languages outside the culture.
2. More perspective in employment
Just imagine how many doors to employment would be open when your resume says that you are fluent in a foreign language.
Having to know another language means that you are able to communicate with other communities as well in this way your chances of getting your potential job might increase because your employer would want to expand his work by reaching clients and your skill will be of great use.
Corporations doing their businesses in other countries are in constant need of employees who have different language skills.
3. Essential globally
Those who are adherent to only one language are quite possibly to be left behind because such people have limited their skills. The more anyone is proficient in different languages their the chances of becoming part of the global economy are easier.
In anyways in today’s era, it is imperative to have skills that connect you to more people. In fact, languages are not limited to one field rather to several niches. The use of foreign language has reportedly helped in presenting oneself quite well with the use of language in social interaction and cross-cultural understanding.
4. Helps while traveling
There are more and more traveling destinations opening and choices for those fond of traveling are also becoming limitless. Learning a second language just eases the process of your movement in any other country. Plus it also pleases the locals to know that you have taken time and interest in learning their language.
You can also start learning the basics of any language when you plan your vacation because this would help in understanding and increase the chances of learning more foreign languages. A paper published ‘learning a foreign language through traveling’ argues that learning through traveling is a subconscious way of learning any foreign language.
This not only gives them a chance to polish their skills but also to learn about new cultures. This can also motivate people to manage their schedules to find time for traveling.
5. Acquisition of languages become easier
Learning a second language has so much to do with the working of your brain so you are getting psychological benefits of learning a second language. When you learn a language the most efficient way is to start by the structure of language.
This makes your brain’s neurons make certain connections hence you are cognitively building a language. In this way, you are not just getting your hands on one language but That is paving way for another one as well.
You have attuned your brain to learn any language now. Bilingualism alone can help children understand the language better and even its constructing elements.
6. It increases smartness
If we have a look at the process of learning a second language then it involves the elements from intelligence as well. Memory, attention span, concentration. All of these things are part of intelligence testing.
So when we are talking about the cognitive benefits of learning a second language then they include memorization and giving full attention to the process. So learning a new language is good for the brain as well since it works as an exercise by utilizing the elements of intelligence. So learning itself promotes human growth in different dimensions among which intelligence is one thing.
7. Harnessing intelligence
When a person is going through the process of learning his brain is actually making new neuronal connections. This promotes brain health. It is not only increasing brain activity but intelligence as well giving health benefits of learning a second language.
A study conducted on 648 patients on their onset of Dementia was observed between monolinguals and bilinguals and there was a delay in bilingualism in symptoms than the monolinguals. Bilingualism also enhances visuospatial and execution functions.
8. Enhances creativity
While learning second language you can create new phrases and sentences thus making you creative. Since we have already discussed that it contributes to executive functioning so it also enhances problem-solving. With learning a new language you will also see that you can find different solutions to a problem.
A study has shown mathematical creativity among bilingual children. Also, the differences among the bilinguals and monolinguals were prominent going in favor of the bilinguals.
It becomes evident when a person with a foreign language thinks about the appropriate words and his struggle is an exercise for the brain.
9. Builds up confidence.
Learning a second language sure is no easy task. So what if you have nailed it and that you have added on to your skills. That definitely is a confidence booster.
Going through the entire list of advantages this is coming at the end but actually, confidence is what will drive you through the course when you are either learning or looking for a job. Call it a psychological benefit of learning a second language that as soon as you go through the different stages successfully you will start to believe in yourself more.
A study conducted over the pupil learning Turkish as a foreign language revealed that students with higher confidence were successful in learning the language. In the same way, Chinese learning English as a foreign language showed changes in self-identity namely increased confidence.
10 Disadvantages of Learning a Second Language
We have gone through some obvious benefits of learning a second language but every story has two sides. Learning a second language where brings advantages has also some disadvantages. Let’s have a look at them.
1. The cost
Learning a second language comes with a cost. This cost becomes problematic if there are other expenses as well. There are many computer software and programs but learning a second language only comes effective with practice and interacting with the same kind of people around.
Your proficiency’ can increase only if you practice it and this gets confirmed by an instructor. Computer-based programs actually help in cutting the cost of learning a second language.
2. Learning a new language is difficult
It is certainly difficult to learn a new language. A foreign language can be totally different than your native one. The alphabets, pronunciation, and grammar can be challenges in many languages.
It may not match your capacity and some may give up early. Learning a second language demands challenges and that can be hard to meet. This involves a positive emotional approach on part of the learner because it is actually an intense process.
3. Learning a Foreign language can be useless
Yes, despite many benefits of learning a second language can be futile. You can learn any language you want but this can only be good for you when you are using it. If you are not traveling neither are you working for any multinational company then it means you are never using that language.
So learning a second language is only useful if it is used in the best interest. Like: Knowing English alone can help you in many countries so this language seems to be enough.
4. Seeking better opportunities
There is a lot of time and energy being utilized in learning a second language. What if you have invested all your money but your language learning did not help. That will be a total waste of time.
So instead of utilizing all your time and energy into this you better surf them for something that will be useful. For this, you will have to plan everything ahead and look for all the pros and cons of the second language and then get into the task. It is not necessary that something that benefits the most will be good for everyone.
5. Not being yourself
Learning a new language means there is a long course to be taken and that includes flowing their vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. This means when you are talking in a foreign language you cannot completely express yourself.
This is important when you are making a conversation that you have the right kind of words to express yourself. Initially, when you are a learner you are trying to adapt to not just a language but also the culture which can only bring confusion.
With English as a foreign language among Chinese students, sit was reported that students avoid speaking English because they felt anxiety in their classes with a fear of being negatively evaluated.
6. Damage to cultural identity
We have mentioned here several times that learning a foreign language involves getting to know their culture as well. For children to have exposure to a foreign language at a very young age would mean that they are getting to know another culture and it can rather be confusing.
These are the years when a child is developing their own language and when there is too much emphasis on a certain language then their own language development can be at risk and their own cultural identity can be in danger.
7. Stress while learning
It is not that in a day or two you can master a whole foreign language but actually it is a painstaking journey. When you are going through the process there are many times that you are making mistakes and what if that makes you look bad and naïve in front of people.
This can actually spoil your image and bring stress which is definitely not good for your mental health. The research found that foreign language anxiety exists equally among male and female students while measuring anxiety for foreign language.
8. Motivation and interest
For any kind of task, you need consistency and that can be attained by the interest you have in that thing. This interest becomes your motivation which gives the necessary energy along the way.
When you want to learn any top foreign languages just remember that it is a long process so anyone with a narrow interest and motivation cannot cope throughout.
So if you are losing interest along the way then certainly not able to learn better since attention and concentration are vital for building a memory.
9. It is not necessary
English is already a language that is spoken the world over and is a good means of communication. So if you are already speaking the English language then the need for having hands-on any other language seems futile.
This language is recognized in many countries and is included in the courses of children from the very beginning so giving time to a second or third foreign language seems unnecessary. In fact, while traveling the foreigner might prefer speaking in English with tourists.
As for the students, we can say that there are many translating tools which can help and the lectures can be preferably delivered in English.
Improve your English language skills with this step-by-step guide.
Everything has its own pros and cons so when a person has to make a decision he should keep in mind that either of the advantages or the disadvantages weigh more. If you feel that something will bring benefit to you then it is worth spending your time and energy on.
If you want to enroll in learning a second language then this means that you are packing your bag for a long journey which takes up as much time as you put a grasp onto the structure.
It involves all kinds of challenges that are only getting easier with your spirit. So before taking a decision it is always good to look into the requirement of it and estimating the cost and time needed. When you will have all the necessary information then the course will become easier for you.
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