The Importance Of Being Bilingual
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Importance Of Being Bilingual

Learning a second language has been one of the greatest decisions I've ever made and have changed my life in a way I never thought possible.

The Importance Of Being Bilingual

When I first came to college, I dreaded the thought of having to continue with learning Spanish. I had been taking Spanish for 6 years, and at this point was so sick and tired of having to learn how to conjugate –ar and –er verbs, and learning the difference between the preterite and the imperfect past tenses. Spanish class, to me, was just another class where I had to memorize tenses and vocabulary for the final and then be done with it for the summer. It wasn’t until I came to college where I realized that Spanish is much more than verb tenses and vocabulary lists – it is a new way to interact and a vital way to success in our current world.

Currently, there are 55 million Hispanics in the United States. That constitutes for 17 percent of the nation’s total population ( The population of Spanish speaking people in our country is truly growing and is becoming more evident in our cities. Now-a-days, it is very rare that you see directions on items or signs that are only in English – they will be labeled in Spanish as well. Many people see this is a “disgrace” because it is “un-American”, however did you know that there is no official language of the United States? English is the primary, and dominant language, however there is no official language. We are a country built on immigration, so, this makes sense.

Learning Spanish in addition to English is very beneficial to any person living in the United States. These benefits include: looking better on job applications; being able to communicate with and reach more clients (if you are going into fields such as social work, psychology, etc.); many teaching opportunities, whether teaching Spanish to English students or English to Spanish students, amongst many others. However, being bilingual in ANY language is just as beneficial and important. Being bilingual will:

  • Expand your world.
    • It is so easy to look at the world we live in from one perspective. Coming as a student in D.C., and as a native of Long Island, New York, I look at the world from one distinct perspective… and it was not until I traveled Poland this summer that I realized that the world we live in is more than how I see it in New York and D.C. By learning another language, you will see how vast and unique our world truly is.
  • Transform your traveling.
    • Traveling is hands down one of the greatest aspects of being in college. Whether traveling to other friends’ colleges in the states, studying abroad in foreign countries, going on vacations or even making pilgrimages… traveling is a vital part of the college/adult experience that I encourage everyone to take part in. by knowing a second language, and enthralling yourself in it, it will inspire you to take your studies of a language off of the paper and from your pen, and actually involved in immersion of that country.
  • Appreciate other cultures.
    • Learning a language, as stated before, is more than knowing verb tenses, vocabulary, and important phrases. When you learn a language, you learn history and customs, and you come to appreciate other cultures for their way of life. Yeah, Chipotle and country music are cool, but enthralling yourself into the cultures and values of other countries around the world will help you appreciate American culture more, and visualize how we fit into this world culturally.
  • Challenge yourself.
    • I will explain below how it’s not easy learning another language. However, that’s why it’s so appealing to me. Challenging yourself to go the extra mile, to train your brain to think in two languages opposed to just one, and to not only memorize words and facts, but also to go the extra step and incorporate a language into your daily life, is what makes learning a second language worth it.

Now, although there are many benefits to learning another language, I can attest to the fact that it is NOT easy. I have been studying Spanish for 8 years and am still on my road to being fluent. However, here are some tips to help you start the road to succeeding in speaking, reading, listening, and writing:

  • Find other people and talk to them.
    • I’ve found that it’s easy to write essays in Spanish and to answer questions for my Spanish class in Spanish. However, it wasn’t until I sat down with an actual Spanish speaker that I realized I really didn’t know what I was doing. I encourage you to find someone who speaks the language you’re studying and to try to have a conversation in it. Even if you barely know anything, you’ll be surprised to see how much you actually know. Also, I’ve found that those who speak the language enjoy seeing the effort you put into trying! This will guarantee speaking success.

  • Start a book in the other language.
    • It may take you a year to finish a simple book, however, reading a book in a foreign language will train your brain to translate and comprehend a reading. The feeling of success after you’re done with one chapter is one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment ever. This will enhance your reading skills.
  • Watch TV/listen to music in that language.
    • Watching TV and listening to music is a common thing that we do almost 24/7. If we’re not in class, we have headphones in and are listening to music, and if we aren’t doing homework, we’re catching up on our Netflix binge-watching or the next episode of the voice. Click on the language section of Netflix and begin watching a show in a new language! It is challenging at first but will help your listening skills tremendously.
  • Journal about your day in that language.
    • On a spiritual/mental note – I advise that everyone journal about their day at the end of each day. you’ll be surprised how impactful it has in your stress and anxiety levels. On that note… journal in a different language! Take your time writing down your thoughts, translating it, and when you don’t know a word, looking it up and instantly learning something new. Writing for 5-10 minutes each day every day in the long run will improve your writing skills and knowledge of vocabulary better than you ever thought possible.
  • Just go!
    • Don’t wait for time when you’ll have free time. PSA: you will never have “free” time. We are busy and have never ending schedules. However, taking some time out of your day and devoting it to studying a new language has proven to decrease stress levels, and focus your attention to something new and fun instead of the same-old-same-old daily routine.

Learning Spanish as my second language has not been simple. However, I have been able to challenge myself, try something I never thought I would try before, and learn in a way I never thought possible. I encourage you to put to the side all of your doubts and fears, and start learning a new language today. You’ll be surprised where it takes you, what you learn, and how different you see the world. So, finally all I have to say is:

Buena suerte, Alles gute, Buona fortuna, Bonam fortunam, Geros kloties, Kila la kheri…


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments