Learning a new language is vital in the current generation. Being proficient in other languages offers great advantage and opportunities for an individual. However, it is difficult to learn, master and become proficient in a second language. The difficulty is even more pronounced in older age compared to younger age. In this dynamic world where technological advancements are so rampant and significant, it is vital for an individual to learn at least one foreign languages. Countries should emphasize learning new languages based on the importance of the second language in the connected world. Countries which promulgate foreign language learning can improve their economy through the creation of job opportunities, cosmopolitan citizens as well as providing cognitive benefit to individuals in the subject.
Currently, it has become vital in the job market to know another language. Business organizations have expressed their desire to increase their economies of scale. Improving economies of scale mean that companies are strategizing to establish their branches in other countries. Being proficient in other foreign language increases the chances of an individual to get a job in companies which desire to expand their existing networks. Employers will prefer to send a person who has fluency in another language to manage its branches abroad compared to a person who does not speak the language of the people where the company's branch is to be established. Businesses are not the only form of employment that a foreign language can guarantee. Educators will have students from different backgrounds. Similarly, a scientist would love to converse with their peers from other parts of the world who speak a different language from what they know. On the other hand, learning a new language can help entertainers open their career aspects tenfold in foreign countries. In the case of jobs dealings, individuals can increase their earnings significantly particularly those in the field of sales and marketing.
Foreign language education is quite essential in learning another people's way of life. Currently, in the United States of America, foreign language offering is limited. The number of students who enroll in foreign language classes is also declining each year. Even though many people speak other languages apart from English at home, vital heritage language resources are still underutilized (Curtain, Donato & Gilbert, 2016). Computer-aided learning (CAL) offers a great platform for students to learn and research new languages. In the few institutions that still value the importance of learning a new language, students are provided with resources which would ensure they succeed in learning and become proficient in foreign languages. These institutions have programs to support communities and language learning through the provision of resources to learn as well as understand the cultural beliefs and activities of people.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, foreign language education in the US was energized by some of the dramatic developments that took place at the time. Research on the human brain has fuelled the renewed interest in learning a foreign language in the early stages of life. Elementary schools in the United States have been tasked with intensively educating children foreign languages as well as emphasizing the importance of knowing other languages in authentic contexts. Technological advancements have made it easier for students to interact directly with foreign languages as well as their cultures. This experience with foreign languages and their cultures is not limited to the school setting alone as students can access devices such as smartphones and computers to conduct their research at home.
In 1986 the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages changed the purpose of knowing a language to what a person can do with the language. The council established a way of measuring the performance of students through their ability to hear, speak, read and write the language they are learning. These guidelines were then revised in 1999 and 2001 to strengthen foreign language education in America. The council set the standards for learning a foreign language whereby performance was measured from grade four through to grade eight and twelve.
Programs such as going abroad were made to ensure students interact with the immediate communities of a language. Traveling to countries based on students' choice of a foreign language enables them to learn the culture of a people which is vital in understanding the language faster. These language programs could allow students to spend at least one semester on tours. In the long run, the tours enable the learners to enhance their proficiency in foreign languages.
The benefits of learning a foreign language are many. In addition to business opportunities, foreign language education can facilitate a student promulgate successful to a career in education. There is an apt amount of findings showing that foreign language learning exponentially improves the cognitive aspect of an individual. Students who learn other languages apart from their first languages have higher chances of performing well in other subjects compared to those who know one language only. In the long run, good performance guarantees an individual a good job later in his/her career. Therefore, foreign language education should be stressed in the early years of education in view to strengthening the cognitive performance of children.
It has remained to be a subject of debate whether foreign language education is beneficial to young children. Many believed that educating children to new languages while young is futile (Curtain et al., 2016). However, studies show that there are incredible benefits to teaching foreign languages to children. These benefits go beyond communicating with people from other geographical locations. According to longitudinal studies in Harvard University, learning a foreign language increases creativity and thinking skills. According to their findings, the brain is like the muscles whereby exercises facilitate them to function better. Bilingual children can multitask, focus and memorize things more readily compared to their peers who are monolingual.
In general, foreign language education is vital and should be emphasized in all learning institutions in America. Due to the rate of globalization, it is vital for the country to emphasize proficiency in more than one language. Proficiency in more than one language is critical for diplomatic relations, business as well in promoting international cooperation. Educating a student more than one language improves his/her academic as well as life experience. Commonly, an individual who learns a second language find that he/she gets to understand the first language more. This suggests that learning a second language helps an individual focus on grammatical rules. The awareness is transferred directly to the first language. The experience offers new insight into ones' language, thus finding themselves improving their first language.
On the other hand, teachers who are proficient in other languages can communicate well their students. In a classroom, there are students from diverse backgrounds. Therefore a teacher who is multilingual can understand the cultures and views of students from different communities. He/she can then strategize on how to teach students. In the long run, many students perform well in the academics due to the understanding they have with their instructors. Researches show that students who have a multilingual teacher record high performance in their academics compared to those who are taught with an instructor who only speaks one language.
Based on communicative methods of foreign languages pedagogy, people can relate well to others. Relating well with others usually ensure that people understand each other. Therefore, through the understanding of foreign language, people can conduct businesses together without the barrier of communication. Although the curriculum has foreign language learning, it is still vital for the government as well as all the education stakeholders to revise the dynamics of foreign language education to ensure all students enroll in one or more foreign language class. The schools should incorporate collaboration with different communities to ensure a strong foundation of foreign education in the country. Students should be affirmed of the values of heritage languages and second language acquisition to help them build their desires for other languages.
In conclusion, children are more flexible to learn new languages compared to adults. Despite these differences in the learning capacity, foreign languages are beneficial to all the demographics. In the current world, there are over seven thousands of languages. Learning at least one of the languages can help an individual massively. It is clear that in such an interconnected world it can only be a disadvantage if an individual is monolingual. A second language allows a person to have more opportunities in the job market. Citizens also become more aware of cultural diversity, thus can live with others in harmony. In total, foreign language education is vital in this dynamic world. Therefore, foreign language education should be more emphasized in the United States of America.
Curtain, H., Donato, R., & Gilbert, V. (2016). Elementary school foreign language programs in the United States. In Foreign Language Education in America (pp. 19-41). Palgrave Macmillan, London. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137528506_2
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