• Caroline Schattschneider

The benefits of being bilingual: Bilingual students gain academic, social skills

There are over 6,800 languages in the world and people are thrown into the world expected to speak all of them. At a person’s earliest age, they’re most able to learn a language but that time frame closes quickly. However, a person’s ability to learn a second or even third language is still notable.

Students have started to learn world languages in school, enhancing their world comprehension and foreign vocabulary. Learning world languages have proven to enhance standardized test scores, it improves their cognitive abilities and linguistic awareness, according to The Education Corner.

“I could read and watch different sources of media from different countries and partly from all over the world. For example, languages gave me the possibility to connect from people all over the world,” junior Sofiana Casper said. Casper is currently fluent in English, Russian and German and is studying French.

In addition to enhancing students’ test scores and comprehension for foreign material, it allows them to connect to others. Connections with people from different countries can allow a better understanding for different parts of the world and build strong relationships.

There are benefits with entertainment and socialization, but there are also academic benefits. The ability to master two languages is often rewarded in the college setting in the form of scholarships.

“My brother and I both have the possibility to apply for the Hispanic heritage scholarship and other forms of bilingual scholarships,” sophomore Karen Sanchez said. Sanchez speaks Spanish fluently at home and is also fluent in English. She is also currently studying German in school.

Becoming fluent in a world language in high school and college increase opportunities for jobs. According to takelessons.com, employment rate of translators and interpreters will “grow by 46 percent from 2012-2022.”

Bilingual Americans tend to have a higher salary as well. Studies have shown that being bilingual may increase your salary by 1.5-3.8 percent, according to The Language Lizard. Speaking multiple languages allows people to get jobs in international affairs. There’s a high demand for bilingual workers granting them more possibilities for careers.

It’s never too late to learn a second language. However, the sooner one is introduced to a foreign language, the more it can benefit them in the long run. Scholarships and job opportunities open up to those who are proficient in multiple languages. It also presents them with the possibility to interact and communicate with people all over the world.

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