4 Reasons to Consider Learning a Second Language

In our current society, having the knowledge and ability to understand a second language is becoming increasingly valuable.

College is a great time to learn this skill, and you can even go for a major or minor in a language if you get far enough along.

Being able to communicate in more language than one can open countless doors and opportunities, so take a look at why this is such a valuable skill to have.

4 Reasons to Consider Learning a Second Language 

You will be more competitive in the job market

Businesses are always looking for people who are bilingual to be translators and to communicate with non-english speakers. According to Yahoo! News, bilingual employees get paid 5%-20% more than people who only speak one language.

Having knowledge of a second language can make you stand out in the job market and can even score you the job. Not only will you be able to converse with a customer in a different language, you will also show that you are knowledgeable about a culture other than your own, which employers look for as well.

You can get credit for it during college

According to the U.S. Department of Education, less than 8% of U.S. Undergraduates study a foreign language, so when students do it really stands out.

If you study another language at a university, you will get credit toward graduating and will acquire skills that will be useful for more reason than one. Most colleges require a certain amount of foreign language credit in order to receive your diploma, so it’s important to make room for those classes if you didn’t complete them in high school.

You can start from the very beginning and learn a brand new language or continue on from what you were studying in high school. Be aware however, that college classes can move quickly and are considered to be difficult at times, so only take what you can handle.

You can study abroad in a wider range of countries

Studying abroad is an amazing experience that everyone should take advantage of. A poll taken by the American Council on Education said that 79% of Americans believe that students should seize the opportunity to spend a semester in another country and immersion in another country is the best way to learn a foreign language.

There are a wide range of countries that you can choose from, but some have a language requirement. Learning another language can help expand the number of countries you can choose from. I want to study abroad in Spain during spring semester of 2014, but before I do so I have to complete classes through the 200 level of Spanish.

I’m sure there are similar requirements with studying abroad in China, France, and Italy so stay on top of your language classes so you don’t have to say no to the trip of your dreams because you don’t have enough credits in your language of choice.

Personal Growth

Learning a language is a big commitment and is not easy by any means. Many people learn a language as a personal goal, or to be able to communicate with family in another country.

Individuals who learn another language are more accepting of other cultures which is an important quality to have especially in the United States, especially since it is becoming more diverse.

If you don’t have the time to learn a language in school, there are still many ways to become proficient in another language. One program to look into is Livemocha which is a free online program where you can learn (or teach) a foreign language and it has almost every language to choose from. This is only one suggestion, and there are many other online and written resources to consider as well.

According to Yahoo! News, there are forty-six million people who are bilingual in the United States, and you can be one of them! In this day and age, there is an increasing need for people to be able to communicate in more than one language. College is a wonderful time to learn another language for both professional and personal reasons and should be greatly considered.

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Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying journalism. She is involved with the student newspaper, new student programing, and greek life on campus. She has a passion for travel, loves animals, and is always up for an adventure. Shannon also enjoys movies, music and fashion.