7 benefits of learning a new language for students

In a world where people speak over 7,100 languages, what stops your child from learning one or two new languages? Besides tapping into diversity, it also gives children an advantage over their monolingual peers.

7 Benefits Of Learning A New Language For Students
7 Benefits Of Learning A New Language For Students. Photo courtesy: Canva

Multilingualism promotes metalinguistic awareness, where kids understand how to explore languages. Unfortunately, most people fret over learning new languages because of baseless myths and misconceptions.

As the world becomes more interconnected, it is time to drop these beliefs and help children develop proficiency in multiple languages. Students meet other kids from cultural backgrounds, and learning a new language helps them connect better with each other.

Here are seven benefits of learning a new language that will help students throughout their education and interactions:

Why Is It Important for Students to Learn a New Language?

The increasing globalisation has fostered connections among individuals and nationalities. The world is becoming more multilingual. Learning a new language is beneficial. Besides improving a student’s life in school or at home, it also prepares them for the future.

Most students taking bilingual programmes are open to working in lucrative careers in different countries. A better understanding of more than one language also builds credibility for various job positions in the future, resulting from companies expanding internationally and building partnerships with other countries.

Learning a new language offers more benefits to students by opening the world around them, some of them written about below:

1. Improves Connection with People

Social interaction is one way for students to engage with each other at home and school in Singapore. It is even more fulfilling when communicating with people in their native language. Lastly, learning a second language helps learners connect with people since they can easily communicate in a particular language fluently.

Speaking a new language makes someone more connected locally, expanding their horizons to other learning opportunities. This constant learning builds connections for children to maintain long-lasting relationships.

2. Makes Students Smarter

Learning a new language is ideal for keeping the brain sharp and active. Speaking two or more languages allows students to switch from one to the other. While speaking one language, a student can seamlessly prevent the influence of the other language from affecting communication.

Students eventually improve their cognitive and sensory functions, meaning they can easily process information to understand the context and solve problems. A student learning a new language will train the mind to avoid distractions or contradictions, which is ideal for studies. Frequent recognition, deciphering, and communication in a new language increase the brain's capacity.

3. Increases Cultural Awareness 

Language is the gateway to understanding culture and how people live worldwide. Learning grammar and words in a new language triggers interest in learning about traditions. Proper language understanding creates an immersive experience even when learning about other cultures.

Communicating with people in their language leads to appreciating their arts, religion, and culture. Students will be more tolerant, empathetic, and accepting of people from diverse cultures. They will be more open and show a positive attitude towards the culture behind the language they are learning.

4. Improves Self-Confidence

Students learning a new language at OWIS primary school in Singapore feel more confident and focused. They achieve self-satisfaction and assurance when they communicate in a new language fluently. When taking lessons, learners set goals to achieve weekly or monthly.

Once they attain their goals, they get a boost of confidence because of their hard work. Approaching and starting conversations with people in their language also makes the child more confident in their learning. The more confident they get, the more they can approach school projects confidently, knowing they will do things the right way.

5. Enhances Understanding of the Primary Language

Taking up a new language expands a student’s understanding of the primary language by putting things into perspective. It deepens the knowledge of one’s language by understanding the linguistic structure and comparing it to others.

When students speak their primary language, they rarely take a keen interest in it because that is the normal way of life. The grammar, vocabulary, idioms, and sentence structures are considered normal, with no other meaning behind them. Upon learning a new language, the student will understand why mastering sentence structure, intonation and pronunciation is critical.

6. Boosts Creativity

Learning a new language always presents new challenges to students. Linguistic problem-solving becomes part of the learning process. Sometimes, when a learner wants to say something without speaking their primary language, they find creative ways to pass the message. They can use gestures, explanations, or objects to help the listener understand the point.

By mastering this art, the child will use various approaches to solve problems as they grow. Experimenting with new words and phrases trains the brain to develop problem-solving skills in all situations.

7. Improves Communication Skills

Bilingual education helps students improve communication skills through listening and speaking. During lessons, students learn to listen effectively and speak clearly and fluently. As they learn to speak a second language concisely, they can clarify information in a way even a native speaker would understand.

They can further use these skills when communicating in their primary language. Once they fully get the hang of speaking a second language effectively, it begins to show in their reading and writing. Students can easily use the right words to express ideas in a non-native language. Better communication is also advantageous for building logic and proper processing of information.

Children can only become polyglots by learning a new language at school. Bilingual programmes in the school offer all the wonderful benefits listed above. Anyone interested in learning a new skill or trade will always find it helpful to learn a new language.

Even though students learn in an environment different from their native homes, learning the native language helps them connect better with the culture. OWIS's Chinese-English bilingual programme helps students with age-appropriate fluency to build a bi-cultural linguistic experience.

Learning a new language always continues, since it influences how students engage with the world. Bilingual programmes simplify learning by increasing accessibility for all students.

Rishabh Agarwal
Rishabh Agarwal – Writer

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