Have you ever wonder how learning a new language can impact your job outlook or cognitive skill? In a world full of different languages and dialects, speaking of only one language is just not suitable. Being able to speak two or more languages can open up numerous job possibilities, especially in tourism and the medical industry. Besides, social circles increase when one can speak and understand the language of his or her surroundings. Meanwhile, personal fulfillment can also be involved after one acquires another language. Moreover, the challenges that foreign language learners experience can significantly heighten their ability to be self-aware and memorize. Therefore, learning a foreign language is beneficial in today's society, as it provides more career openings, expands social circles, builds self-confidence, and improves thinking skills.
The first advantage of learning a new language is the creation of more job opportunities. Speaking fluently in two or more different languages will open up more doors to a variety of jobs, from tourism to the medical industry. It is increasingly common to find job advertisements that require potential employers to speak at least two languages. According to Lorenzo Eduvala, an employer relations manager at Dusit Thani, bilingual applicants have a higher opportunity of getting the position that they applied for than that of monolinguals. He remarks, “Speaking another language gives a potential employer an edge.” In his example, an old Filipino customer may be more comfortable speaking to a worker who knows the Filipino language, which gives the bilingual an edge than that of his or her monolingual co-workers. Furthermore, he states that bilinguals with leadership skills are often given a job promotion. To illustrate, in Eduvala's experience at Dusit, a local Chamorro housekeeper was automatically given a job promotion to the sales and marketing team. This promotion was due to the head of the marketing team later finding out that the individual could speak the Korean language fluently. As a result, the marking team used him to interact with potential Korean customers and investors.
Moreover, learning a new language is not only necessary in the tourism industry, but as well as in the medical field. In my interview with Ericson Sabanes, a recent Registered Nurse at Guam Memorial Hospital, he states that knowing how to speak another language gives him the opportunity to communicate with his patients more effectively. Aside from English, Sabanes can also speak and understand the Tagalog and Hiligaynon, a Visayan dialect. He comments, “Whenever I take care of patients who speak Tagalog, the communication seems to be more understandable, which I can also obtain more accurate descriptions of the patient's complaints.” I spoke with Sabanes again to examine why is there a need to understand and speak another language. He states that as part of the employment processing packet, he was asked if he could speak and understand another language other than English. He was then given an option to be an interpreter for those languages. I then concluded that having the ability to speak another language, especially in the medical field, enhances and promotes human connections and new assignments.
Acquiring another language than that of one's native tongue can expand his or her social circle, which is the second benefit of learning a foreign language. In other words, understanding and speaking more than one languages can significantly increase the number of people with whom one can communicate with. Through the learning process of a new language, learners seek out native speakers for guidance. To illustrate, Ellaine Arcillas, a bilingual whose native tongue is Kapampangan, states that while learning the English language, she noticed that native English speakers, like her teachers and classmates, were assisting her along the way. As a result, friendships were developed because she needed those native speakers to help her with learning the English language. Arcillas further states that, “If I didn't learn the English language at all, I know that many of those friendships wouldn't exist today.” Because learning another language cannot be done alone, learners may need to socialize with native speakers to put what they have learned to use. I spoke with Arcillas again to inquire what role does learning another language have on her social circle. She informed me that being bilingual allowed her to have small talks with native speakers and connect with them during the conversation.
The third advantage of learning a new language is the enhancement of one's self-confidence. Learning a foreign language can feel accomplished, after all, it is like acquiring a new skill. I spoke with Francine Termeteet, a Pauluan speaker whose second language is English, about the fulfillment she felt while learning the English language. She confessed to me that before she learned how to speak the English language, it was difficult to talk with her classmates and teachers in school. However, she manages to reach her goal, which is to learn and speak the English language, by interacting with new people. This achievement resulted in a boost of confidence due to the appreciation she received from native speakers, who seek her effort in learning their language. Termeteet exclaimed that, “I felt a sense of belonging with people who are totally different from my culture!” Moreover, learning another language improves a learner's confidence by allowing him or her to visualize the progress being made. After talking to Termeteet, I can conclude that every chance a learner can get is an opportunity for a sign of progress. To illustrate, a learner can notice a significant improvement from the basic level to an intermediate level of language. As a result, the learner feels motivated after seeing the great outcome, which puts him or her closer to his or her goal in acquiring a new language.
The fourth benefit of learning a new language is the improvement of one's thinking skills. Because learning a language requires many learning skills, it can enhance one's ability to function in several areas. Firstly, bilinguals have an increased ability to monitor their surroundings rather than that of monolinguals. “I have to constantly switch between two languages everytime I communicate with my relatives and friends back in the Philippines,” says Paulina Gera, a fluent Tagalog, and English speaker. As a result, the speaker keeps track of changes around him or her in the same way that a mother would monitor their newborn child. The process of learning a language may not be an easy task since it requires a plethora of memorizing vocabulary, grammar, conjunction, and sentence structure. However, learners can increase their memorization skill through those challenges. To illustrate, in my interview with Jamie Masangkay, a Tagalog, English, and French speaker, where she suggested that the more she use her brain while learning French, the better it functions well. In other words, learning a language gives her memory a good exercise in the mind, which requires her to recall and apply what she had learned.
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