The language I have decided to learn is Arabic. Arabic is spoken in as many as 22 countries but not a lot of people speak it here in the US. That makes Arabic speakers here in the US needed. That’s why I think learning Arabic will be very beneficial for my future but also i’ve learned that it will not be easy. There are a lot of pros to learning a new language but a lot of people think there are no cons to learning a language. What I have learnt in my research is that there are a few cons to learning a new language as well. So in this paper I will be talking about not only the pros but also the cons of learning a new language.
Today companies serve a very diverse and bilingual population. Companies also know that the bilingual community can be huge boost to their sales and represent a significant amount of people. A recent report goes on to saying that “marketers and advertisers who grasp and activate the multicultural edge will be poised to connect with rising super consumers.” That makes bilingual people very wanted in the workforce. In conclusion, having two languages to back you up gives you an edge on your competition. A future employer looking for someone to hire will want to hire the best applicant and in a lot of these jobs being bilingual makes you the best applicant. Also even if you have the same job as a person that is not bilingual, studies show that you can earn 5 – 20% more per hour. In the long run that can be a huge difference.
Speaking another language lets you interact with different people and understand their culture, that means making new friends, explore different sports, hobbies or game. It can also help enjoy better your favorite foreign music, movie, or film.
Travel can also be a lot less expensive and more enjoyable when you speak the language of the place you’re visiting. You won’t be stuck to staying in expensive foreign hotels, and won’t have to go eat at restaurants where the staff speaks english. Instead you can visit the local areas and eat at the local restaurants, you can also see how the non-tourists live in that country, engage with them or have conversation, and potentially meet new people. All that without having to worry about the time to find or the money to pay for a tour guide.
Bilingualism is also proven to enhance the brain functions like performing mental tasks and helping a person focus. A study in Scotland and Italy found that bilingual kids are “significantly more successful” than their monolingual peers in problem solving tasks and creativity tasks as well. A different study found that people that can speak another language can understand and process information more efficiently and easily. As a bilingual, you are constantly choosing in which language to say a word, and this gives you a lot of practice choosing important information and ignoring extraneous details. This seems to help bilinguals do better at tasks that require multitasking and blocking out distractions.
As much as being bilingual has a lot of positive effects on people it also has some negatives. One of the hardest things to consider when deciding to learn a new language is the financial side of it. Learning a foreign language can be expensive, especially if you plan to take college courses or pay for private tutoring. It is an option to learn a foreign language from books and/or computer programs, which usually cost less, but practicing speaking with others who are much more experienced and have mastered the language often makes learning more effective and fun.
Another con in learning a foreign language is the difficulty. A whole different language means diffrent letters of the alphabet and different sounds, and in my case different side of the paper. In english we write from the left side of the paper to the right side of the paper. But in arabic, writing starts from the right side and ends on the left. As cool as it sounds, that can take time to get used to and can be very challenging for people that have been writing from right to left their whole lives. Also it is said that the older you get the harder it is to learn new things. Research shows that learning a new language as a young child can be as easy as learning how to walk but let’s face it. In the 4 years of required spanish classes most graduated high schoolers only remember the absolute basic phrases like baño and gracias. According to a languages expert Lancry and other experts, ” this window closes at around age 10. After that, even years of tutoring may not make a language stick.”
Also according to language experts it is said that trying to master and have flawless grammer when juggling 2 languages can be very difficult. It is often said being bilingual weakens your grammar in both languages.
learning a new language can also be very time consuming. The time you spent learning a new language can be spent with family, working or even just getting some rest. It can also take years to be fluent. Fluency doesn’t come easy.
So, as learning a new language can take a very large amount of time, can be financially consuming and be extremely difficult. But taking into consideration the benefit in the future that being bilingual gives you, not only in the workforce and when applying for jobs but in your social circle and life in general. I have concluded that the pros of learning a new language outweigh the cons massively. It will give your brain a boost, open up a whole world of job opportunity for you and it can give you a new perspective to see life with, and understand other cultures much more easily