Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why learn a second language?

All New Zealand Year 7 and 8 students are required to learn a second language.  The Ministry provides superb language learning kits for this purpose for Maori, French, German, Japanese and Mandarin (Chinese).  Unfortunately, though, learning languages is often the first thing to be cancelled when the timetable is too cluttered.  However, I feel becoming bi or multi lingual should be seen as a priority, particularly is these benefits, highlighted on the Vistawide World Languages and Cultures website (click the link to read the full article), can be attributed to second language learning:

To increase global understanding

To improve employment potential

To increase native language ability

To sharpen cognitive and life skills

To improve chances of entry into college or graduate school

To appreciate international literature, music, and film

To make travel more feasible and enjoyable

To expand study abroad options

To increase understanding of oneself and one's own culture

To make lifelong friends

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