Learning second language has it’s perks

As Americans we aren’t required in school to learn another language other than English until we are in middle school or high school, and even then it isn’t really a requirement, while in other countries, students are learning at least one other language by the time they are six to nine. Though these ages may vary between countries, they are still required, if not by law, then by parents, to learn at least one other language other than their native. Studying a second and/or third language is required by law in more than 20 European countries.

So why don’t we have that requirement here in the United States? One reason could be that since English has become one of the most dominant languages in the world, perhaps we feel that we don’t absolutely need to learn another. As long as the rest of the world is speaking English, we will be fine, right? The thing is, many other languages are also thriving in the world today. Even though there are many that are more than likely to die out by 2020, there are still others that will take their places.

Learning a second language can have it’s perks too. Not only can it help you to communicate with other people around the world, it can also help to remember things in another language.

As a personal example of this, I was studying for a test in my world languages class in eighth grade. We had to remember a few words in German, Spanish and French for the test. I came across the German word, brotchen, meaning little bread. I had trouble remembering it for some reason when I suddenly remembered a Japanese word, bochan, meaning little/young master. It helped me to remember that brotchen meant little bread, and I ended up getting it right on the test.

By studying another language, one can experience not only the language, but the culture as well. Learning a language is one thing, but being exposed to the culture even for a shot time is an amazing experience not everyone can get. Some colleges have a travel programs that work with the language classes so that students may have a chance to actually go to a country where they speak the language they are learning. Students would stay with a host family whether it be by themselves or with other classmates, and they would help the traveling students to explore their everyday culture.

If you’ve been thinking about looking into and studying another language, by all means go for it. You may find yourself taking a liking to it. Even if the language isn’t offered in your school, there are plenty of online programs you can use to try it out.

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