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Why Everyone Could Benefit From a Bilingual Brain

With the help of the internet, more and more people are communicating, sharing ideas and becoming interdependent on one another. Globalization is in full-swing, and it is more important than ever to learn another language.

Not only does learning another language serve to broaden horizons, but it also allows oneself to understand and empathize with other cultures.

By learning another language, one is able to demonstrate grace, humility and compassion towards another culture. It is a way of recognizing that another culture is not the same as one’s own and therefore, allows one to appreciate others.

It also helps improve one’s ability in one’s own native language. According to a study conducted by Dr. Ellen Bialystok at York University, students who study a foreign language score higher in categories of math, grammar, reading and vocabulary.

Studying another language can help one’s decision-making skills. A study from the University of Chicago found that people who know another language tend to view the world in “the bigger picture.” They plan for the future instead of focusing on the right now.

It also improves employability. In this global economy, employers are more likely to hire people who are bilingual. Companies are constantly expanding overseas and The Economist revealed in an article that people who speak more than one language experience, on average, have a two percent pay increase to those who only speak one language.

Speaking another language increases one’s travel experience. If one understands the language of the culture they are in, they will be able to experience and understand their culture. It also increases the opportunity of one living or studying overseas.

Communication is as essential to humanity as eating and sleeping. As humans, we function through mutual understanding. With language, we are able to achieve this and there is only more of a global pressure to learn more. Learning a language can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experience one can undertake. So, pick one or two or three of the 6,909 languages present in the world and get to learning!

Photo credits: cover photo, 1, 2, 3 

Emily Holter is a Freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University. She studies Mass Communications with a concentration in Print and Online Journalism. She is an avid reader of books, a lover of all things Cher, and a flower enthusiast. Most days, she is tucked away in a coffee shop, sipping on her black coffee and enjoying light conversation.
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