A No-Brainer: Learning Spanish and the Advantages of Bilingualism

Rebecca Di LuzioLiving/studying abroad

Spanish learning

Do you want to learn a new language but feel overwhelmed? Frustrated?

We get it. Learning a new language can be super difficult. Sometimes you may doubt whether it’s worth it. Sometimes you think you shouldn’t even bother.

However, the long-lasting benefits of acquiring a second language far outweigh the temporary struggle of memorizing flashcards. Don’t believe it? Read below to find out all the advantages that come with bilingualism.

A New Worldview

Have you seen the newest hit movie, The Arrival? Well, in the movie, a woman learns the language of foreign aliens, which causes her to experience her world in a completely new light. Ok, but that’s just fiction right? Nope–you’d be surprised to know that this phenomenon has been proven by research in the real world! If you learn a second language, you will literally see the world in a whole new way. Many talk about adopting a completely different personality while speaking a second language!

Enhanced Intelligence

Struggling to earn good grades? Want to live a long, healthy life? Here’s a solution you weren’t expecting: learn a new language. Extensive research has shown that bilinguals demonstrate better executive control than monolinguals. Executive control is the set of cognitive skills that upholds your everyday functions like high-level thought, multitasking and deep focus. Better executive controls leads to a higher level of academic achievement, as well as serving as a shield against cognitive decline, such as dementia, later in your life.

An Edge in the Job Market

In a world where there’s a lot of competition in the job market, and employment opportunities are scarce, speaking a second language gives you a MAJOR ADVANTAGE! Your career opportunities, in terms of employability and salary, increase immensely if you are bilingual.

  • Have more employment opportunities: In the last 5 years, the demand for bilingual workers has more than Translators and interpreters make up one of the 15 fastest growing occupations in the nation. The average projected growth for all jobs is 11%, whereas the job prospects for translators and interpreters has a projected growth of 46%.
  • Make more money: In the United States, bilinguals earn an average of about 7,000 more than monolingual speakers. Salary.com found that bilingual employees are usually paid 5-20% more per hour than that of a monolingual.

Greater Social and Cultural Opportunities

Not only does learning a new language bring new words, but it gives you a chance to interact more deeply with the people and places in which that language is spoken. For example, if you learn Spanish and then go to Spain, you can actually chat with the locals, watch popular Spanish films and listen to the Spanish radio, visit Spanish monuments and restaurants that don’t provide English translations, and so much more!

Guest post: Rebecca DiLuzzio is a Duke University student who is studying a Minor in Spanish. She has been a Pueblo Ingles volunteer teaching English to Spaniards in previous summer and will be joining us this summer to immerse herself in Spanish and take full advantage of her 8-days in Spain.

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