Parlez-vous français?: Benefits of Multilingualism

Sometimes it’s required for school, sometimes your parents make you– regardless, the idea of learning a whole new language is often not appealing. It takes a lot of work, and what good does it really do in the long run?

A lot, actually.

It makes you think differently and works out your brain.
Speaking another language exercises your problem-solving skills and has been correlated with improved standardised test scores not only in reading and vocabulary, but also in math. Working out your brain by learning another language improves memory, including lists, names and directions.

It can improve your English.
Sometimes when you have to figure out the mechanics of language in another language, like verb conjugation or sentence construction, it clarifies things that you never knew about the English language.

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever.
In fact, with online sites such as Duolingo, you can even learn socially and make it a game with your friends, earning points for accomplishments and reaching goals.

Your friends think it’s cool… And later on, so do your employers.
When people you meet find out that you speak another language, they think it’s really cool and will often ask you to show off your skills. Later on, your employers will be impressed as well by its utility and by your motivation.

You can watch more movies.
Watching movies is a great step in the process of learning a new language. Often these will be movies that you otherwise would not have heard of or seen, and you can come to appreciate the art of film around the world.

You can take advantage of opportunities and experience the world differently.
Sometimes you’ll have to opportunity to travel somewhere where English is not the primary language. Even if you assume that most people there will know at least some English, you can experience the world differently if you speak another language.

You can meet more interesting people.
You can meet people and make friends with whom you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to communicate, and this can lead to interesting stories and bonds that you otherwise would have missed.

You can become a better multi-tasker.
Switching back and forth between more than one language exercises your brain in a way that increases your ability to multi-task more successfully in other aspects of your life as well, which can help you get more done.

Pass time.
Looking for a more productive way to pass time than watching Netflix? Take some time to practice another language (or even watch Netflix in that language, for a happy medium).