Benefits of Multilingualism

Chinese Language Immersion
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Those who are truly multilingual, able to interact comfortably in more than one language and culture have a big edge up in today’s global economy. Language learning is fun only when it offers concrete socio-emotional benefits to the learner because humans are fundamentally social creatures. Gameplay scenarios mimic common interactions children have in order for them to comfortably carry out such conversations using a foreign language in real life.

If given the choice between knowing only language and fluently multilingual, most, if not all, would choose to be multilingual, but how do we get there?

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Higher employability and more income.

A study by the UNESCO MGIEP showed our programs are equally valid across cultures.

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Multilingualism improves one’s discipline—the inhibition function that controls or discards impulsive responses and reacts to stimuli based on attention and reasoning. Furthermore, the enhanced learning ability’s benefit of multilingualism extends across multiple subjects, helping children in science, writing, arts, etc.

With today’s accelerated economic integration, learning a foreign language has become more of a necessity than a choice. In the past five years, the demand for multilingual workers worldwide has more than doubled, and prestigious universities and top businesses consistently prefer applicants who can speak Chinese, English as the US, Russia, and China maintain their statuses as the superpowers. In this article, we explore the academic, social emotional, and career benefits of multilingualism here. 

Some argue that multilingualism is the thorough understanding of multiple languages, others claim they’re multilingual if they know enough to get around as a tourist using another language. Under either definition, approximately less than three percent of the world’s population is truly multilingual.  The purpose of language is to facilitate communication and enhance interpersonal relationships. But true multilingualism extends beyond the ability to communicate, it incorporates cross-cultural awareness because language happens in the context of culture. 

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According to a 2012 study, using a foreign language reduces decision-making biases because the learner must constantly search for relevance and the hidden meanings of words. As a result, multilinguals can easily appreciate the complexities of different situations and the need for in-depth reasoning this enables them to be better decision-makers in their language use and life in general. Studies found that children don’t have to actively speak two or more languages to demonstrate an improvement in interpersonal skills, and even exposure to a multilingual environment is enough for them to build better communication skills.  Higher education institutions and employers consider multilingualism a great asset as it displays you can connect with a wide range of people. Another way to put it –multilingualism makes you future-proof. Your child’s competition, whether it’s for a spot on the team, scholarship, or acceptance into their first-choice school, might be coming from halfway around the world–not be down the block from you.

Lack of practice and opportunity to use the language

Children in Europe are often multilingual because they naturally encounter multiple languages in their everyday lives. However, in other regions like the US and Asia where a single language is predominant, thus limiting opportunities to use a foreign language, parents must work extra hard for their children to be truly multilingual. After all, humans are creatures of necessity and when there’s no real need or benefit to mastering the foreign language we won’t prioritize it

Two-dimensional language learning doomed for failure

The mechanics of a language like vocabulary and grammar is only one component of language. In fact, it is only the first step. Relevant experiences and motivation are necessary to progress.

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School and career

opportunities open up for multilinguals as they are able to make better and more culturally nuanced decisions

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