The impact of language learning and exposure to other cultures

14.09.2016 Caution : This article is outdated. Please check its validity. The are many avenues to explore to influence your childs’ global awareness, whether it is strictly an overview of a language or something related to cultural awareness.

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As an experienced teacher, I know first-hand the impact of language learning and an exposure to other cultures has on skills in and out of the classroom. Without looking at current research, I can predict their findings:  increased memorization and critical thinking skills, expanded reading comprehension and vocabulary abilities, and improved language mechanics, spelling and writing skills. Additionally, academic progress in other content areas.  A student’s confidence and self-esteem soars and social skills are broadened. They show more interest in language study and world events.

As a teacher, students ranging from age 4 through adults in public and private programs, yearlong, summer and 1-1 tutoring settings, I have seen that studying a second language opens up opportunities for students to experience a different culture with food and traditions and to understand world geography and people. Language study helps build relationships with individuals and to see the world as one community. My students are more tolerant and empathetic with those of other cultures.

Knowing another language enhances career opportunity. Many of my students have gone on to further study or work in areas ranging from  international education, law and health care to  the airline industry, hospitality and virtual gaming, overseas media specialists and diplomats. Survey results of over 575 alumni of The American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Ariz., echoed this competitive advantage from knowing foreign languages and learning about other cultures. They attributed language study to being a critical factor in hiring decisions and impacting career paths to providing personal fulfillmentmental discipline and cultural enlightenment.

But wait. There are other distinct advantages:

  • If a child learns a language at a young age, she is more apt to be connected to another culture and to be open-minded and accepting of others who are “different.”
  • The benefits of studying a second language are long lasting. It helps with keeping the brain active and to aid in prolonged cognitive functioning.
  • Society benefits though improved global communication. It impacts economic competitiveness and political and security interests.
  • Students with dual language abilities have expanded access to communicate with more people, to read more literature and to reap the benefits while traveling to other countries.
  • They understand and appreciate customs and achievements of individuals beyond their own communities.

EPIM seeks to inspire children to become lifelong learners and global citiznes aware of their mutual responsibility for each other, by providing education within a well-balance environment of full immersion in multiple languages and cultures. 

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