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The Importance of Language Acquisition

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Brain Power
"Brain development is enhanced because students in an immersion program utilize greater mental capacities when learning subject content in a new language, when that new language is not the commonly spoken language of the local environment..Children who learn in and through a new language, and eventually more than one language, learn more content than those who learn in one language only."
-Denver Language School

You can enjoy traveling abroad in a much richer way when you learn a language. Interacting with locals will open your mind to an entirely new world of cultural understanding and yet most people when traveling abroad do not interact with locals. This means you're just seeing an outside view of the places you go. Interacting with the locals is the key to experiencing places as they really are. How about asking the bartender where he recommends going!? You can't do this without acquiring the language. Acquiring another language will give you the ability to search for better places to go through magazines, books, and the Internet.

Culture and language cannot and should not be separated. You cannot understand one without the other. You can try to read about culture, but it won't make sense to you if you do not know the language. When you learn the language, you realize how that people group thinks. Maybe you say, "pass the salt", but maybe they say, "lend me the salt." You see that their mindset is that they are just borrowing the salt. They are going to use it and return it. Whereas with "pass the salt," you are going to receive it but have no intention of returning it. That's a different way of thinking. When you learn the language, you learn the culture, and ultimately a deeper and better understanding of the people group.

Adding another language to your repertoire opens up massive doors for you. The business opportunities that present themselves to you are huge. It's more than double the current work you have access to, because not only can you work in both languages, but you can also work in the area of bilingual communication. Imagine your current business with the additional access to China, Spain, France, or Malaysia.

Perspective and Global Reach
As the world gets smaller day by day, the need to interact with various people groups is growing by leaps and bounds. Many Spanish speaking people have migrated to The United States. Now when calling a company, you will be given the option to press one for English or two for Spanish. You also may be speaking to a Spanish person who speaks English as a second language. Many Americans are frustrated with this situation. Part of the reason is that these Americans do not have the perspective of what it is like to learn to speak another language nor what it is like to live in a foreign country. As you learn another language, you will gain a new perspective and appreciation for what these people have to go through on a daily basis. I can tell you that after living in Japan for many years and having difficultly with basic things such as grocery shopping or using an ATM, I have definitely gained a new perspective on both language learning and living abroad. Now instead of becoming impatient with foreigners, I encourage them and commend them on what they are achieving.

Take Away
Although I recommend it, you may not have the desire to live abroad. But by learning a new language, even at a basic level, and then traveling to a region that speaks that language, you will gain a new perspective on the global community in which we live.



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