Coming into college, I had little experience with foreign language outside of taking four years of Spanish in high school. My previous classes had introduced me to the basics of the language which included mild conjugations and a few vocabulary words, but I was a huge step away from fluent.
I decided to further my knowledge by enrolling in an entry-level Spanish class freshman year and later found the classes down the road to be much more challenging than what I was accustomed to. It was definitely a change of pace, but I would advise everyone pursuing a college career to add a foreign language class to their schedule.
There are many advantages that come with picking up a second language, and the world can overall benefit from the decision as a whole.
Here are four reasons you should opt-in to foreign language classes:
1. You can communicate with the world around you.
You won't become as fluent as an international relations ambassador overnight, but you will definitely pick up on common phrases associated with the language that you're studying. This way you'll be able to communicate with others who speak the same language and, even more so, in their home countries if you happen to go abroad. In many of these countries, the residents love when you speak to them in their native tongue and are more than happy to help you understand if you're struggling.
2. You learn more about other cultures.
My foreign languages classes have not only taught me grammar and vocabulary but have also exposed me more to Spanish culture through history, literature, music, food, and more. I have learned so much about the people in Spanish speaking countries, which gives me more appreciation when learning their language. Cultural significance is the crucial backbone of every nation's language in the world, and it is very important to understand when taking these classes.
3. You benefit in the job market.
It's no secret that multilingual candidates stand out more in the working world. Not only will it be a discerning factor on your resume, but it can possibly secure you a guaranteed position in your dream job. Companies are more likely to hire those who can communicate with a variety of customers and speaking another language can help you boost your status as a potential candidate.
4. It's fun!
I'm still not as fluent as I'd like to be in Spanish, but I have definitely improved a lot since the beginning. Listening to music and watching movies in Spanish has been a helpful aid in learning the language. These methods have provided an abundance of entertainment while also teaching me at the same time! I find joy in strengthening my language skills and learning to understand other people who live in various sectors of the world.
One of my greatest wishes is for our county to improve international communication. In my own personal opinion, the importance of learning foreign languages is not stressed or taught nearly as much as it should be. I hope to encourage others to take a class or two in a language that isn't their own. In doing so, we can build better connections and strengthen our appreciation for the world that surrounds us.