Thanks to the various means of communication, transportation as well as globalization, the world today has become a smaller place. Today, we have people from one part of the world, shifting to another, for work, travel and education, a lot more than what it was a few decades back. This, coming in contact and intermingling of people belonging to different cultures, has increased the importance of learning more than one language. Scroll down to know more on the importance of bilingualism in education...
Enhances Skills and Creativity
Researchers have shown that students who learn more than one language, have greater analytical and problem solving abilities. Such children are much more creative, confident and have a higher IQ than their peers, who know only one language. Students who are multilingual have better vocabularies and can express themselves in a number of ways. As these children can express themselves better, they are lesser likely to behave aggressively or fight with others, compared to their single language speaking counterparts.
Increases the Learning Pace
There are many minorities in America who speak their own native language at home. It is seen that bilingual language fastens the pace of learning subjects such as math and science in native speaking children. Since these children are more comfortable in speaking and understanding their own language, when these subjects are taught in their native language, they have a better grasp on the various concepts. Thus, their pace of learning is not hampered as it would have been if these subjects were taught in English. Meanwhile, when they are learning math, science and other subjects, they are instructed and made to learn English as well. Thus, it's a win-win for naïve speakers, as they can learn English as well as other subjects side by side, at the same pace as English speaking students do.
Contributes to Professional Success
Bilingual language is considered a huge plus point for corporate executives. Today, when people belonging to different countries and cultures work together in large multinational companies, an executive who can speak more than one language, is considered an extremely valuable asset. Such an executive is trusted more due to his ability to understand the international customers of the business as well as the foreign market. Bilingual executives can prove to be very useful when interacting with foreign clients as well as fellow international employees of the business. Researchers have shown that because of all these reasons, employers pay bilingual executives much more than those who know only one language. A bilingual executive can look forward to earn anywhere over five percent more than the employees who speak only one language. Thus, it leads to greater success in career and a better salary and lifestyle.
Opens Door for Government Jobs
According to estimates, for around twenty percent of all Americans, English is only a secondary language i.e. they speak in some other language at home. Most of these people are immigrants and minorities in the United States. That's why, many government jobs, especially the ones that involve dealing with minorities and immigrants or formulating/reviewing policies with regards to them, require the applicants to be bilingual. It helps a person secure many a government jobs.
Contributes to Personal Growth
Lastly, the importance of bilingualism can be seen from the way it contributes to the development of an individual. With the knowledge of some other language, comes the understanding of a different culture. This widens the horizons of the individual, making him more accepting and comfortable with people who are different than him. Thus, bilingual education, in a way, contributes to the overall growth of a person.
Today, in the United States, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese are the two languages that are considered most useful to learn, besides English. The reason being that majority of the minorities in America speak Spanish and China is soon going to be a major player in world politics and economics. Thus, it can be rightly said that being multilingual has numerous advantages. Bilingual education is a must today, as it builds individual skills and contributes both to a person's personal and professional success.