Four Reasons Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language

Vivian is a 15-year-old from Miami, FL. She enjoys music and hanging out with friends. In the future, she hopes to become a psychologist because she loves helping others in their times of need.

Living in Miami, I am constantly surrounded by a multitude of languages. Some of the many examples (other than English) are Spanish, Creole, and Chinese. Growing up in this diverse environment, I have always been fascinated by languages and have strived to learn as many languages as possible because I have realized that with knowledge of a multitude of languages come many benefits. Some of those benefits are that it helps jobs, communication, traveling, and knowledge.

1. Jobs

There’s fierce competition everywhere to get a job in this economy. Because there are lots of people applying for the same job, the employer would obviously look for the more qualified applicant who knows more than just English. This applies to a story that I have been constantly told: two people are applying for the same job with equal education and academic qualities, but one knows Spanish while the other does not know any other language. Who gets the job? Without much thinking, everyone would guess the one who speaks Spanish.

2. Communication

While walking down the infamous Calle Ocho in Miami, it is very apparent that a majority of people there would prefer to speak in their native Spanish language and not in their broken and thickly accented English. Obviously, if one knew at least some Spanish, it would be best to try it out than to just speak in rapid English that is hard to understand for some. The people being talked to would be utterly pleased at the effort given.

Also, if speaking with family members not familiar with English, it would be nice for them if they were talked to in the language that they are comfortable in (in my case, Chinese). Even though I actually have to put a huge effort in trying to speak it, with practice, I could maybe have a deep and meaningful conversation with that family member and learn something about them I wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t make an effort to improve my Chinese. This situation also applies to any person that knows a certain language over English.

3. Transportation

I still remember when I traveled to China and I couldn’t talk how I pleased because I couldn’t speak without truly thinking about what to say. This kind of ruined my experience, and after coming back, I willed myself to go to Chinese school. I envisioned that after learning more, I would be able to tour China when I got older without as many problems as before. This exemplifies the idea that if anyone wants to travel anywhere, the experience would be extremely more fulfilling if one knew the language of the country they were traveling to.

4. Knowledge

At my school, our motto is “vis per scientiam”, which means strength through knowledge in Latin. This motto can be directly applied to my last point, knowledge. (Plus, it’s in a different language.) Knowling language gives one a sense of a new culture, and it would be much easier to learn about a country already mastering their native language.

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