Hi there! Hola! Hallo! Ciao!
This week I thought I would look at the benefits of learning a new language.
I know there are some who moan and groan about learning a new language because they think that everyone should speak English, but don’t assume that everyone does speak English or actually wants to speak English.
I have always believed that learning new words and phrases when visiting a new country shows respect and helps you to experience the culture more.
Did you know that Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the World, Spanish is second, and English is third with 335 million speakers? See http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0775272.html
So why brush up on your language skills? According to http://www.lingholic.com/ten-amazing-reasons-learn-foreign-language/, some of the benefits are:
- It improves your brain power
- It improves your employability
- It helps you to develop confidence
These are really good reasons for an adult, so what about children? Anita Busby of Gold Medal Tuition recently carried out some research and found that teaching children a foreign language through songs and games from a young age actually helps with their own language skills. This is backed up in an article in the Telegraph, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/11151726/Children-should-start-learning-languages-at-age-three.html
Now if you don’t want to pay out huge amounts of money, or you just want to learn the basics, here are a few websites to get you started.
https://www.duolingo.com/ – I have been trying to top up my school book French with this site and it is okay if you have some prior knowledge. It tells you how fluent you are at various stages.
https://www.futurelearn.com/ – Regular readers of this blog know how much I love Futurelearn courses. I recently started a Spanish course to top up on some prior knowledge I had.
https://lingua.ly/blog/best-foreign-language-to-learn/ have some good articles about why you should learn a language, and of course the site allows you to learn a variety of languages.
With all this help around, there is no excuse for you not to start right away. So my advice would be..
Fonce! Ve a por ello! Tu es! Fallo! Go for it!