A common argument against students learning a second language is that there should be a greater focus on perfecting spelling and grammar in their first language first. However, there are many benefits to students learning a second language and this is an overview of some of these benefits.
There is evidence to suggest that studying a second language not only improves literacy skills in the second language but also the first. This is because students gain a better understanding of different word types, such as nouns and verbs, as well as other aspects of literacy such as phonics.
More work opportunities
Students who have studied a second language will find that there are more job openings available to them and that they are more likely to progress and succeed in their chosen field. This is partially due to the increase in international trade and communication that requires multilingual workers to liaise with other companies or international branches of their own company.
It has been proven that students who study a second language are likely to gain in confidence. Confidence can be gained by learning a new skill, such as a language, and ;the types of activities that are involved in learning a language, such as speaking out lout, can also help to improve a pupil’s confidence.
Increased academic success
Research shows that when a second language has been learned, a student will succeed in other academic fields too. This could be because of the different learning skills that they have been taught while learning a language.
Vocabulary is increased in both the first and the second language. There are often historical links between the origin of words in one language and another meaning that there are words that have similarities. When students learn these they are more likely to introduce them into their own vocabulary use. They will also learn words that are completely new to them.
Children who are exposed to multilingualism are able to exercise cognitive skills. Skills of this type that are enhanced by the study of an additional language are critical thinking and problem solving. These are skills that can be applied in many other subjects.
Cultural connections and a broader world view
If you travel abroad to a country that speaks the second language that you have studied then you will have a broader experience of the country during their travels. You will gain a better view of the culture and also have an easier time communicating during your travels.
Studying a second language has many benefits to students. These include greater career opportunities, increased literacy, vocabulary and cognitive skills, a broader cultural view and greater confidence. Also, many students enjoy the experience of studying a second language and feel a great sense of achievement.