Why You Should Learn a New Language

Contributor: Tara Ondra. Lesson ID: 13361

Make new friends. Travel to exotic places. Expand your horizons. Open your mind. Improve your memory. Get a cool job. These are just some of the many reasons to learn a new language!

categories

Interpersonal Skills, Preparing for College, World Languages

subject
Life Skills
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter, Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

"A different language is a different vision of life."

~ Federico Fellini, Italian film director

hello in different languages

  • Which languages do you think are most widely spoken in the world?

Test your knowledge by ordering the 12 languages below from the most spoken (#1) to the least (#12).

  • Did you get most of them right?

Chances are, then, that you already speak English, which is the most widely spoken language in the world.

  • So why should you bother learning another language?

There are plenty of reasons and benefits to learning another language:

  1. Connect with other people and make new friends.

Speaking with someone in their native language opens channels of communication and creates a more solid connection with that person.

  1. Travel and learn about other cultures.

By speaking the local language, you can travel more safely and confidently while learning more about the culture of the country you are visiting. This experience widens your world view.

  1. Expand your job opportunities.

While it might be some time until you're hitting the job market, do keep this in mind for the future. According to a 2017 New American Economy report, the demand for bilingual workers in the US more than doubled from 2010 to 2015. Obviously, language skills open doors for finding a job abroad as well.

  1. Strengthen your brain.

Cognitive scientists and linguists have found that learning a new language improves your memory, problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, and multi-tasking skills. Language learning is a solid mental workout.

Still not convinced? Watch this video to hear more reasons.

9 Reasons To Learn A Language For Children || Lindsay Does Languages Video from Lindsay Williams:

  • When is the best time to learn a new language?

Now!

Studies have shown the younger the learner, the easier it is to learn a language. In fact, your brain accommodates (or stores) language differently depending on which stage of your life you are acquiring (or learning) the language.

When you learn a language earlier in life, it is also easier to add another language in the future because your brain is already trained. Additionally, it's easier to pick up on the native accent the younger you are. Adults often struggle to "sound like a native."

It certainly is never too late to learn, but the younger you are, the better.

For more on how the brain processes languages, watch What Happens To Your Brain When You Learn a New Language | Understanding with Unbabel:

  • How many languages should you learn?

There's no limit!

Start with one new language to work your way toward being bilingual, or fluent in two languages. As you add more languages, you can become multilingual or a polyglot, which means fluent in many languages.

Watch this next video about an amazing teenager who is a hyper-polyglot!

Teen Speaks Over 20 Languages from THNKR:

  • Ready to test your ears and world geography skills?

Head over to the Got It? section to listen to different languages and find out where they're spoken.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.