¡Hola! Bonjour! Ciao! Ni hao! Hello! Do you recognize what language each form of this universal greeting is translated to? If you do, props to you! If not, don’t sweat it. There are 6,500 different languages communicated around our world and many of us grow up learning only one. At some point in our lives, usually during grade school, we are given the opportunity to learn a foreign language. Some people choose Spanish, others, Italian, or maybe even French or German. Regardless of the language you choose and how long you decide to study it, you are introducing yourself to numerous benefits and possibilities.
When coming to college I figured as a communication studies major, what would be the harm in continuing to study a foreign language while studying communications? There is no harm. IT IS A MODE OF COMMUNICATION! If anything, studying a second language has presented me with opportunities I never thought I would encounter.
Exploring a second language is highly advantageous and has no downsides. In fact, it offers a myriad of benefits:
Learning a second language boosts your brain power.
Learning a second language will improve your memory.
Learning a second language will sharpen your knowledge of your dominant language.
Learning a second language will make you a better communicator.
Having knowledge of a second language will increase your chances of landing a job.
Yes, I know that eating right and exercising can boost your brain power. Studying and reading can improve memory and sharpen your knowledge of your dominant language. Practicing communication in interpersonal settings can make you a better communicator. BUT, studying a second language can increase the possibility of all of the benefits mentioned above, among many others.
As a communication studies and Spanish language double major, it is apparent that my studies have fostered my knowledge of both English and Spanish. Studying a second language also allows you to step into the shoes of another individual. Speaking a language other than English has opened my eyes to a multitude of perspectives, both positive and negative. Nonetheless, you have the ability to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for another culture when you learn their language and values.
Plenty of students give up on learning a second language once they have acquired their necessary credits. I understand, it truly is not for everyone. Fortunately, if you are that student who gave up on a second language, it is never too late to pick up where you left off. Nowadays with exceptional technology, there are excessive amounts of resources you may use to re-familiarize yourself with the language of your choice.
Below are a few applications/websites that I highly recommend if you are interested in learning another language:
Duolingo.com (can be found in app store)
Memrise.com (can be found in app store)
Babbel.com (can be found in app store)
Rosettastone.com (can be found in app store)
As we know everyone learns in their own way. Each of these applications/websites is designed for different learners whether it be game-like lessons or simply listening to a video in another language. It is important that you recognize what type of learner you are as you proceed throughout this process.
After all, what is there to lose? Simply knowing the basics of a language can get you further than knowing nothing at all. So, if you are daring enough to take this chance and pursue a second language, I wish you the best of luck! ¡Buena suerte! Bonne chance. In bocca al lupo.