No matter how old you are or why you start, learning a second language has tons of benefits. In a classroom setting, some students may have genuine interest in the target language while others not immediately see the great value of learning a new language. Either way, providing students an overview of the benefits of language learning can help them stay motivated, set goals, and progress through their lessons.
In this article, we’ll outline some of the major benefits of learning a language. Each benefit will resonate with some students more than others. With the right motivation and classroom language resources like Rosetta Stone for Schools, any student can be set up for success!
- Opening up career opportunities
- Improving memory
- Improving time management
- Lengthening attention span
- Improving academic performance
- Improving non-verbal communication skills
- Boosting creativity
- Building connections with other people
- Understanding other cultures
- Deepening travel experiences
- Making new information accessible
- Boosting confidence
- Strengthening problem solving skills
- Making learning more languages easier
Learning a language opens up career opportunities
The world seems to get smaller each day. Knowing another language can be a huge advantage for students who go on to work for a company with international locations, serve a diverse customer base, or have co-workers from other countries.
Speaking Spanish is particularly sought after in the United States to communicate with Spanish speaking clientele. Mandarin and Japanese are also helpful across the business world. French is useful for working in diplomacy in NGOs.
However, knowledge of any additional language can demonstrate hard work, discipline, curiosity, and a broader worldview. For students driven by career success, this could be a powerful motivator in which language they learn and how dedicated they are to it.
Learning a language improves memory
Learning a new language pushes your brain to get familiar with new vocabulary and the patterns that make up the grammar. Remembering new words, making connections between them, and using them in contextual situations are a workout for your brain.
Improved memory benefits students with studying and retention across all subjects.
Learning a language improves time management
Learning a language is a skill that requires discipline and working smart. Studying efficiently and seeing their time pay off with new skills can lead to more efficient planning and time management in other areas of a student’s life as well. You can help your students manage their time well by keeping track of their language learning progress.
Rosetta Stone for Schools’ student data and admin tools support teachers in monitoring student progress.
Learning a language lengthens your attention span
It’s no secret that our attention spans have gotten shorter. However, research suggests that bilingual and multilingual people can stay focused longer than their counterparts who only speak one language. This is the result of concentrating on switching between languages in their heads.
If you have a student who can’t focus, language learning could help them build this important muscle.
Learning a language improves academic performance
Studies show that students who study a second language perform better on standardized tests compared to students who don’t. Similarly, learning a language connects with other academic subjects like history, geography, literature, and more.
Learning about those aspects as they relate to their language studies means your students have more knowledge about these subjects than their peers who don’t study a second language. This also means that if the language isn’t a student’s favorite subject, it’s easy to suggest learning material based on subjects they do enjoy.
For example, Rosetta Stone Stories cover a variety of subjects including poetry, short stories, history, geography, and more that teach new vocabulary in context.
Learning a language improves non-verbal communication skills
Languages aren’t just about words. Gestures, facial expressions, and body language aren’t universal. Some cultures are more comfortable with touch than others. Some regions have hand gestures that don’t mean anything anywhere else. Body language that is acceptable in your culture could be seen as rude in another.
Learning these non-verbal signals for another culture can make you more aware of your non-verbal communication in your own language as well.
Learning a language boosts creativity
Learning unfamiliar words and putting together sentences with them takes creativity. It’s not always simply a matter of thinking of a sentence in your native language and translating it word for word into your target language.
Using the words your students know in another language to communicate the idea they want to express is a form of improvising. Drawing comparisons between the vocabulary and grammar they learn with those of their own language also broadens their minds and improves their thinking skills. This could resonate with creative-minded students.
Learning a language builds connections with other people
Since the purpose of learning a language is to communicate, it only makes sense that one of the benefits is connecting with other people. Whether they’re across the world or across town, a second language can be a great way to make new friends. Knowing the language while traveling makes it easier to befriend locals.
Many language learners use apps to find conversation partners whose native language is the one they’re learning. Plenty of cities have cultural events and meetup groups for speakers of foreign languages. Learning a foreign language can also lead to opportunities to give back through things like assisting refugee resettlement. Students who are social and/or looking to make new friends will likely find these things appealing.
One-on-one tutoring with a native speaker can be a great way for students to learn new skills authentically. Virtual tutoring sessions led by native speakers are one of the perks that Rosetta Stone Gold subscribers have access to.
Each session allows students to practice what they’ve just learned in their core lesson through real-world conversation. These immersive sessions are exclusively held in the student’s target language to provide an opportunity to speak to another person and receive immediate feedback from a native speaker.
Learning a language helps you understand other cultures
Learning a foreign language is incomplete without a cultural context including history, literature, cuisine, film, popular culture, and societal norms.
This is an area where you can motivate students by encouraging them to explore things that interest them. For example, some students may not feel inspired by classic literature but would light up reading graphic novels.
Learning a language deepens travel experiences
Though speaking the local language isn’t always a requirement for travel abroad, it can add a whole new layer to the experience. Many popular tourist destinations are accessible to English speakers, but travelers who speak the language well can navigate less well-known areas and connect with local people more easily.
Students who learn at an advanced level could have opportunities to study and work abroad long-term in the future. Learning an authentic accent can also help your students sound natural and blend in with native speakers. That’s why Rosetta Stone TruAccent speech recognition provides precise and immediate feedback to sound like a native speaker.
Learning a language makes new information accessible
Not all information and media is available in English. Even when it is, translations can be limiting sometimes. Learning a new language allows students to access primary sources in their target language as well as experience and understand books, films, music, and more in a foreign language can open up a whole new world for your students.
Learning a language boosts confidence
You can’t get good at something without being bad at it first. This is especially true with learning a new language. Putting yourself out there and making mistakes is a necessary part of the process. This can be a stumbling block for some new learners, but once your students get past it, it can do wonders for their confidence.
A great way to get students over the initial discomfort of speaking their new language is to start them speaking right away and make them feel good about early accomplishments. These are both things that Rosetta Stone emphasizes with its structured immersion approach and practice in all four domains of language.
Learning a language makes learning more languages easier
Once a student has gone through the process of learning a second language, they haven’t just learned the language itself, but they know what language learning strategies work for them.
Making sense of unfamiliar sounds is much less intimidating when you’ve done it before. Some people start learning a language thinking that reaching an advanced level is out of reach. But before they know it they’ll be conversing smoothly and maybe even thinking about their next language.
Rosetta Stone for Schools accelerates language learning
Rosetta Stone for Schools is a powerful language learning platform that offers a comprehensive curriculum for 25 languages. With powerful immersive methodology, we accelerate language acquisition for English language and world language students.
Learn more about how you can use Rosetta Stone for Schools by chatting with our team. Contact us today!