One skill that I think many people do not have but could benefit from mastering is learning a foreign language. Business, political and educational leaders are realizing that the whole world does not speak English. In fact, many of those people who have learned English as a second language prefer to converse and negotiate business in their own native language. Knowing a second language is now a very important part for an immense number of careers. Not only can it help with getting a job, but it can also take part in helping them get a promotion or a raise. Sometimes, knowing or not knowing a second language can even be the deciding factor in whether or not an employer hires them.
Not only can learning a foreign language help you find a job, but what about traveling abroad It is a common desire amongst Americans to travel abroad. A few generations ago, people rarely traveled outside of their home states, but today the number of people traveling abroad has increased greatly. People travel to North and South American countries, and to Europe, and even to Asia and Africa, not only for pleasure but for work as well. Of course it is possible to travel to foreign countries and not speak their language, it would be impossible to learn the language of every country you went to visit. However, if you were to visit a foreign country already knowing the countrys language as well as their history, you will have a more pleasant experience and a better understanding of the country and their culture.
Learning a foreign language can also help improve cultural understanding and mutual communications. International businesses have multiplied. It is often difficult to achieve mutual understanding and communication between nations, and learning foreign languages can help to achieve this goal, simply because studying a foreign language is the most effective tool to break down the barrier of a single language and a single culture. It also enables people to achieve a better understanding of their own.
Studying or knowing a foreign language does not guarantee understanding or empathy for the native speakers of the language; furthermore, it does help to avoid misconceptions and often brings forth gratitude and sympathy in the native speakers of the language. I once read a book where a Caucasian man traveled to Bombay, India. Upon arriving, he was treated with much animosity and hostility. However, once he lived there for a while and learned not only the culture but the language as well, the natives of Bombay grew quite fond of him and even total strangers would take a liking to him for the simple fact that he had made an effort to learn their language.
Learning a foreign language can also benefit you academically. One report said ???some studies show that children who learn a foreign language score statistically higher on standardized college entrance exams.??? The College Entrance Examination Board reported that, ???students who had averaged four or more years of foreign language study scored higher on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than those who had studied four or more years of any other subject.??? Knowing a foreign language can contribute to academic achievement. In studies, high school students that were involved in advanced foreign language programs were more likely to perform better academically in college and were less likely to drop out.
Learning a foreign language can definitely be beneficial. When deciding to learn a foreign language, ask yourself why you are learning it. Whats in it for you Consider the social benefits of learning a foreign language. The chance to meet new people and make new friends can be huge motivators for people in life. These exact same reasons can be motivators to learn a foreign language. Making new friends who speak a different language can encourage you to develop your language skills even further.
Next, consider the financial benefits of learning a foreign language. Special recognitions and promotions at work, or even being hired for a new job can be results of learning a foreign language. Knowing another language can open up a huge number of doors for the growth of your career.
Finally, consider the cultural, travel, and other life changing experiences learning a foreign language can bring to you. Just knowing a few short words or phrases can make you more approachable to the natives of the language when they realize you are making an effort to learn their native tongue, especially in the smaller, more rural locations. This can often lead to many cultural exchanges, experiencing local culture, and memories of travel adventures that will last a lifetime.