Hello! Learning a Language is Good for You!

Hola! Bonjour! Nín hǎo! Salve! Merhaba!

No matter how you say it, learning a foreign language is beneficial to you in many ways.

When I was in high school (many years ago), I viewed taking two years of foreign language as simply a duty to fulfill my graduation course requirements; that unless I was fluent, a different language wouldn’t benefit me in life. (I also felt this way about math courses such as Geometry; sorry math teachers and lovers.) I would sure love to go back and redo it again now (language, not math).

In no particular order, here are a few reasons why I’ve learned that learning a foreign language is important.

Language Opens the Doors to a New World

Over the summer I had the chance to travel to a few European countries and there were so many times I wished I could speak the native language—asking directions, understanding recommendations on where to eat, favorite delicacies, and cultural pastimes are just a few. While the English language is widely known and spoken across the globe, learning a foreign language increases your ability to connect with people around the world.

Interesting Fact: Did you know if you speak Spanish you can speak with about 420 million people worldwide? If you know Mandarin, you can converse with more than a billion people!

Language Grows Your Brain

Scientists have proven there are many cognitive benefits of learning another language (no matter how old you are). A few of the known positive effects of speaking two or more languages include memory improvement, longer attention span, and a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline. Also, studies show people who are bilingual are better at tasks that require focused attention and multi-tasking. (Students, parents, and teachers alike would certainly enjoy reaping this benefit!)

Boosts Competitive Edge in Career Choices

The ability to speak a second language will set you apart when it comes to life after school. Knowing a second (or third, or fourth) language opens a ton of career opportunities. The workforce and the way we do business is global and diverse and being bilingual can broaden career options. Many jobs in education, healthcare, national security, tourism, and international business require (or favor) workers who are bilingual and knowing a second language can result in higher pay and more job opportunities.

Learn a Language Online!

At FLVS, students can take varying levels of Latin, Chinese, French, and Spanish. This year, FLVS launched Spanish 4 Honors, a course for high school students in grades 9-12.

With online Spanish courses for elementary, middle, and high school students now available, FLVS students can learn Spanish across Kindergarten through 12th grade—and can qualify for the Florida Seal of Biliteracy Program.

Learn more about our FLVS language courses! Explore our course options.


Suzan KurdakSuzan Kurdak is a published author, blogger, and communication specialist who joined Florida Virtual School in 2011. She is passionate about boosting and encouraging others to live life to their fullest potential.



2 comments on “Hello! Learning a Language is Good for You!

  1. Ny

    Hello Susan,
    I, like you, wish that I paid more attention in H.S. in the late eighties and continued learning spanish and french in college in New York. Fast forward 20+yrs, five children later, and residing in an wonderful and diverse spanish speaking community in Tampa, fl. I would like to know if there are resources for parents like me who would like to learn another language in order to feel connected to the community and people around me. Also, be able to communicate with my children who speak the languages now.

    Reply
    1. Suzan KurdakSuzan Kurdak

      Hi Nicole, what a great question! I learned about Duolingo, which is free, and offers many different languages at https://www.duolingo.com. I’ve personally not tried it, but you’ve inspired me to look into it. “We’re never too old” right?

      Reply

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