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 Importance and benefits of learning a second language

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Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 44
Location : Kanata

PostSubject: Importance and benefits of learning a second language   Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:23 pm

There are a number of reasons to learn a second language. Some may be extrinsic motivations (get a job or please my parents) and others may be intrinsic motivations (I want to better my understanding of the studied language's culture). The following is a list of reasons you may want to learn a second language and the benefits of acquiring French as your second language.

1. To communicate with people. May it be for travelling or to use it in your community, knowing French can only be an advantage to communicate with people around you. Important facts: French is spoken in 28 countries. There are 56 states/governments who are members of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. French as a second language is the second most taught language in the world behind English. French and English are the only 2 international languages (spoken on all 5 continents).

2. To better understand the culture. One of the most important part of a culture is its language. To understand how the language works gives you a very good insight into the culture. For example, the way in which people address each other is key in understanding key elements of a culture. In French, the pronoun <vous> is used to show formality and/or politeness this does not exist in English. Its equivalent <you> can be use formally or informally to show friendliness or politeness.

3. To better understand our mother language. By studying a second language, we become more aware of the similarities and differences our mother tongue has with the second language we are studying. Furthermore, we become more alert with our mother language trying to avoid making mistakes while speaking or writing it. Therefore, learning a second language is beneficial to our mother tongue.

4. To have greater possibilities.:

A) employment ; It is not a secret in Ottawa. Having a good knowledge of French increases your possibilities of getting a job greatly. But there is more than Ottawa. Let's look around the world.
- UN
- UNESCO
- NATO
- Red Cross
- Olympic Committee
- European Court

These are but a few international institutions which use French as the language of communication.

B) education; By knowing more than one language, one is opening additional doors academically. For instance, at Ottawa University there are courses that are deemed bilingual (Canadian Studies) which means half of the classes are taught in English and the other half in French. Furthermore, commanding more than one language opens doors to universities across our beautiful nation and around the world. Have you ever thought about studying in France? It is a possibility!

C) Books/Researches; A great advantage of knowing more than one language is access to information. Yes, there is a lot of information already printed in English; however there is still a huge amount which is not and may never become available in English. Knowing more than one language gives a person a one up when it comes to doing research because the pool of information is greater. On a personal level, having done lots of research, I think this is the greatest advantage of knowing more than one language.

d) Vacations; English can give us an access to almost all the countries on the planet, yet having a second language gives us that added security of being able to communicate with the people we are visiting. Nothing beats being able to communicate with someone in their mother tongue when traveling.

E) Friends; An element which is rarely mentioned but is a reality is the chance of developing new friendships. Knowing a second language gives us access to a new group of people whom can become good friends.

5. School grades: An important fact to know when joining the immersion program is that you are not only acquiring a second language, but you are also become better at your mother tongue. Statistics have shown that learners following the immersion program tend to catch up and surpass their English counterparts in English comprehension as well as math.
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