Reasons not to learn a language

  1. It really does take a lot of time and effort. Even those who start young, find they have to take refresher courses and practise abroad or their  hard-won skills slip away.
  2. There’s always someone out there making the effort on your behalf, who will understand English when they pick you up on holiday in their taxi or sign for your football club. Let them put in the effort.
  3. We’ll probably all speak the same language one day. Or, at least, have a chip implanted in our brains enabling live translating.

A little time spent on Google searching for real reasons not to learn a second (or third) language is quite a fruitless task. Remove the word “not” and you’ll have a busy few weeks reading lists, academic peer reviewed papers and anecdotal blogs… it’s all there.

Here are just the first three I found.

https://www.pandatree.com/reason_foreign_language

https://www.britac.ac.uk/blog/learning-foreign-language-about-more-getting-abroad

http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/benefitsoflearningalanguage.htm

Below are some headings and quotes from these articles. It certainly makes me wonder why the UK government doesn’t push for language learning to be a central part of KS1 and KS2.

  • Better job prospects
  • Brain health
  • Travel and leisure
  • Improved first language
  • Improved understanding of the world
  • Experience new cultures
  • Achievement
  • “…71% of senior UK business figures with skills in more than one language said that their languages skills had given them a competitive edge in applying for jobs>”
  • “The skills of analysis, resilience, the ability to communicate sensitively and the maturity and independence which come from studying or working abroad are also in demand. “
  • “Studies have shown that people who are bilingual are better at tasks that require multi-tasking and attention focusing than monolinguals.”
  • It boosts test scores in core subjects
  • It boosts empathy
  • It helps prevent cognitive age-related decline

The alternative is, of course, avoid the effort and miss out on the benefits.

Speak Like A Native

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