Studying a world language takes away from a large quantity of a student’s time that could be spent on core subjects, extracurriculars, and sports. The time spent memorizing vocabulary and learning how to communicate in the desired language adds up to be a lot that takes away from a student’s personal, family, and school time. Not to mention, will the hard work students put in even benefit them in their future? However, there are some substantial benefits and advantages that come with learning a world language. Investing time in world languages is a necessary skill for students to learn in school because it will benefit them in future jobs and give them a different way of thinking.
Firstly, taking a world language in school will benefit students in the future, such as when they are applying for a job. Individuals have more opportunities for jobs if they are bilingual. For example, according to the report Not Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the US Job Market, “Over the past five years, demand for bilingual workers in the United States more than doubled. In 2010, there were roughly 240,000 job postings aimed at bilingual workers; by 2015, that figure had ballooned to approximately 630,000.” Taking the time to learn a foreign language in school has a great advantage and comes back to benefit the individual later on in life. The number of available jobs for bilingual people is exponentially growing and by the time students have graduated college or high school, there will be even more positions available for them in multiple professions. In addition, according to an infographic of the world’s top languages, three million out of seven million people speak one of ten languages out of 6,900 spoken languages on earth. This illustrates the importance of needing to know multiple world languages so one can communicate on a more extensive scale. By absorbing a language, individuals will get to communicate with others in the language they learned, which also leads to the next advantage of practicing a foreign language in school.
The second benefit of investing time in taking a world language class during school is it will expand one’s thinking skills and will allow one to communicate with others on a much broader scale. Understanding different languages allow for different ways of thinking. In addition to thinking and communicating skills, individuals will also be exposed to many different cultures around the world. According to Liz Reisberg in the article Foreign Language Should be Mandatory, “Studying another language (or two or three) increases the effectiveness of cross-cultural communication, not only in knowing words, but in developing a deeper understanding of language generally and its relationship to culture.” Learning a language not only benefits one in understanding words and how to communicate thoughts, but it also gives one a sense of what life is like in other parts of the world. Knowing different cultures allows for more abstract ways of thinking. Also, according to the Foreign Language Should be Mandatory article, “Without some exposure to a foreign language, how would anyone develop any understanding or insight about the cultural dimension of language?” Learning a language sets one up for success in the future. One should immerse themselves in the culture and language to truly receive all of the benefits.
Studying a world language has many benefits. However one may say that a student has other time priorities and learning a language won’t come back to benefit them later in time. Many often forget the language after coming out of high school and never use it again. As stated by Art Caden in Should Schools Require Foreign Language? Doubtful., “For the average American, studying foreign languages in school is a waste of time given all the other things she could be doing.” However, the author of this claim does not realize the job benefits that come with learning a language. Individuals who are bilingual have a significant advantage over those who are not in obtaining a job. Investing the time now will help students in the future. Additionally, one will not forget the language once graduating high school if they use it nearly every day in the bilingual job they receive. In conclusion, world language education is necessary and should be mandated as it will benefit students’ future jobs and will immerse them in a different way of thinking.
I agree that learning a foreign language is extremely important, since it will actually help someone once they get into their future careers and lives. Great job!