The Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Learning+a+foreign+language+reaps+many+benefits+for+students.
Learning a foreign language reaps many benefits for students.

Learning a foreign language reaps many benefits for students.

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Creative Commons

Learning a foreign language reaps many benefits for students.

Cindy Lim, Staff Writer

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Many students take foreign language classes throughout high school yet view the class as insignificant compared to their other classes. However, learning foreign languages is essential. Due to our ever-diverse and growing country, multilingual individuals have a great advantage.

 

High schoolers often think that the only advantage they gain from learning a foreign language is recognition by colleges and employers. While this is one of the advantages, it does not compare to all the other incredible benefits brought by multilingual abilities.

 

Knowing a foreign language helps an individual understand the culture and tradition of a country. This understanding is vital at a young age, especially in a world where people are dependent upon one another for goods, services and solutions to political disputes. As published in an article by the Foreign Language Department at Indian River High School in New York, “a person competent in other languages can bridge the gap between cultures, contribute to international diplomacy, promote national security and world peace, and successfully engage in international trade.” A recent statistic also provided by Indian River High School states that 52.8% of Europeans are fluent in both their native tongue and at least one other language, while only 9.3% of Americans are fluent in both their native tongue and another language. In a multicultural nation like America, this is a very disappointing statistic. Amongst a diverse population, this is unacceptable, especially when so much of America is multicultural.

 

In contrast, some people claim that learning a foreign language is not important to learn in high school. According to Cate Hoss from The Rationalist Conspiracy, most students in a foreign language classroom are not trained to retain what they learned. When speaking with a native speaker, they only remember basic information, such as “si” and “no.” Although this reasoning seems logical, Hoss does not take into account how valuable the basics of a language can be. “I think it is satisfactory to know the basics of the language that are sufficient to understand a native speaker,” said Miranel Chico from LingHolic. Even if a person can only remember the basics of Spanish from high school, they will still be able to communicate and form basic conversations.

 

Learning foreign languages is beneficial in many ways for high school students. As stated above, learning foreign languages allows students to interact with different cultures and become globally educated. High school students should be encouraged to learn foreign languages, especially in the diverse, colorful world we live in.

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