1. If you’re monolingual, you’re actually a minority.
That’s right. There are actually more people in the world who speak two languages than people who speak only one language. So, why not join the majority of the planet and learn a second language?
2. You may offset diseases that come with old age.
There are many benefits to learning a second language as an adult. However, I believe that one of the most appealing reasons has to do with health and well-being. As a person ages, it is normal for them to experience a decline in cognitive control. Bialystok (2009) studied a sample of 184 participants; half of the individuals were bilingual and the other were monolingual. She found that “bilinguals showed signs of dementia four years later than the monolinguals–with a mean age of 71.4 and 75.5 for monolinguals and bilinguals respectively” (Bialystok 2009: 8-9).
3. You’ll be more appealing as an employee.
It’s becoming harder and harder to stick out from the competition in job interviews. So, how about adding speaking another language to your resume? Not only will you be more appealing to companies in your home country, but global companies are also more likely to look your way.
4. You’ll surprise foreigners by not being a “typical American”.
I can tell you from personal experience that there is no better feeling than breaking negative American stereotypes. I love speaking Spanish or Portuguese and telling someone my nationality. The typical response is “wow, you don’t meet many Americans that speak another language” or “usually I have to speak only English with Americans”. Surprise the foreigners you meet instead of reinforcing American stereotypes.
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Author: LEAH SHOUP