Benefits of Speaking in Two Languages

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Learning a second language can be stressful, especially in college. Studying something completely new to a student while they are also studying for an upcoming math exam or history exam has the potential to create huge amounts of stress, but it also comes with its benefits. Learning a second language will admittedly be very time consuming and difficult, but in the long run will be worth every minute that was spent learning.

The amount of bilingual people is increasing, bilingual meaning people who can speak two languages fluently. More people are bilingual today than there are people who only speak one language, also known as monolingual, forty percent of people on the earth today are monolingual, forty three percent are bilingual. (ilanguages.org) Being able to fluently speak and write in two languages will create more job opportunities for people. According to www2.ed people who can speak and write with two different languages have brains that are more progressive and flexible compared to monolinguals. (www2.ed.gov)

Being able to speak two languages will set you up with a better chance of success after college. Not only will you be able to speak to people in your native tongue, but also to people with a different culture and language than you. This could make finding a job much easier since you can work for people who don’t speak your original language. “A U.S. study found that high-level bilingualism is associated with extra earnings of about $3,000 a year, even after controlling for factors such as educational attainment and parental socio-economic status.” (Neel Burton) Neel also stated that “Of course, the overall economic impact of multilingualism is much greater than the sum of the higher earnings of multilingual speakers.

A report from the university of Geneva estimates that Switzerland’s multilingual heritage contributes about $50 billion a year to the swiss economy, or as much as 10% of GDP.” (Burton) So not only does knowing a second language improve the income of the individual, it also helps the nation as a whole. The United States of America’s GDP in 2017 was 19.391 Trillion. (World Bank) If we were to follow the Geneva estimates at around ten percent of GDP due to multilingual heritage that would mean the United States would make an extra 1.93 Trillion dollars every year. That is a huge increase in economic growth. It wouldn’t be instant, it would take years after implementing mandatory foreign language courses, but it would help the future generations to come.

Business students especially should become at least bilingual. Being bilingual when running a business opens up a completely new set of customers that would have been unobtainable without knowledge of their language. Also, when speaking to a customer in their native tongue it will help create a feeling of trust, the customer will feel more at ease with your company and more likely to spend their money with you when they see that you spent the extra time in college to learn a foreign language just so you could communicate better with them in their native language. This will of course increase profits for the business and they can use these profits to further invest in the market of people who don’t speak the native language in the country they are a resident of.

Learning another language has benefits besides increased income. Neel stated that “Certain languages are better suited to certain purposes, for example, English is great for science and technology, French is better for cooking and romancing, and Latin is best for praying and formal rites of passage.” (Burton) Forcing college students to pick up a second language will allow them to express themselves more effectively. Learning a second language can improve your ability to speak your native language. “For instance, one study found that Spanish immersion significantly improved children’s native English vocabulary.” (Burton) This is due to English and Spanish being very similar, they share the same alphabet, have many cognates, and very similar pluralization. This could be transformative for students who are still struggling to understand the English language. They would get a grasp on their native language and be able to fluently speak a foreign language, this will put them much further ahead in the competitive market versus someone who is monolingual and may not understand their own language as well as the bilingual individual.

Forcing mandatory foreign language can also be good for the student’s cognitive health. Charlemagne once said “To have another language is to have another soul.” Neel talks about how you can ask a question in your native language and you will get one answer, but if you asked that same question in a new language the answer could be completely different. (Burton) Words also have more significance depending on the language used to convey them, “Compared to “I like you” in English, “Je t’aime” in French is a far more serious proposition.” (Burton)

One could assume that forcing mandatory classes on a college student is just another way for colleges to squeeze as much money as possible from their students, this is an incorrect argument. Colleges main role in society is bettering individuals with knowledge that will set them up for success in their future if they use the knowledge correctly. Neel Burton talked about a study in his article about the benefits of being bilingual and showed that even with the extra cost for the classes, people that had high levels of bilingualism earned around $3,000 dollars more on average than people who are monolingual. So, stating that it is only a cash grab move for colleges if they were to implement this is just ignorance.

Some might say that forcing students to take the classes that they don’t plan on using is just a complete waste of time for the student. This is somewhat true especially in the United States being the majority spoken language is English by a large fraction, but again, learning a second language will help the student understand their own native tongue better than they had previously. This would cause more adults to speak intelligently and prevent the decay of the English language with people using more meaningful words rather than using mundane already created phrases.

Forcing students to take foreign language classes may seem inconvenient to the student and they may or may not want to take the class due to money or time problems, but in order to improve our society we must implement this. Not only does it improve the average income of the student later in life, it also helps out the countries economy by increasing the GDP by a huge margin when many people are bilingual. It would be complete disregard for the times to not start this as soon as possible, so many nations have people speaking more than two languages fluently and the United States is falling behind drastically. 61.8 million residents of the united states said they speak a language other than English fluently and this comes out to a little over twenty percent of the population. (Eric Owens) While this may seem like a lot, it is still behind the global average of about forty three percent. (world bank)

Cite this paper

Benefits of Speaking in Two Languages. (2021, Apr 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/benefits-of-speaking-in-two-languages/



Is it good to speak 2 languages?
Yes, it is good to speak 2 languages as it can increase job opportunities, improve cognitive abilities, and enhance cultural understanding. Additionally, being bilingual or multilingual can also improve communication skills and provide a competitive advantage in today's globalized world.
What are 5 benefits of being bilingual?
1. Being bilingual can improve your cognitive abilities and help stave off dementia. 2. Being bilingual can help you earn a higher salary and open up more job opportunities.
What are the benefits of speaking 2 languages?
There are many benefits to speaking two languages. Being bilingual has been shown to improve cognitive skills, delay the onset of dementia, and even protect against Alzheimer's disease.
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