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06-02-2019 by Linda

There are plenty of reasons to not start learning a new language. It takes time and besides that you're too busy, have already been graduated, speaks two languages already and languages aren't your thing anyway. But, hold your horses: we found 6 very good reasons that makes you want to learn a new language RIGHT NOW.

  1. Open a world of new career opportunities
    Learning a new language (and with it, a new culture) is a big plus for your CV. Multinationals are largely dependent on people who speak at least two languages, and preferably even more. Recent studies show that multilingualism nowadays has an even greater advantage over the job market than it has always been (Kortromin, 2017). Speaking one or two additional languages makes someone the ideal candidate for business travel and ensures that you can work independently (both in employment and as a freelancer). Even with smaller companies, knowing a foreign language will ensure that you distinguish yourself from other applicants. It indicates industriousness and curiosity. 

  2. Expand your network with multicultural contacts and friendships
    You might know this feeling that during a trip or vacation you met a group of locals and you were socializing, but at some point you fell outside the conversation when they accidentally switched from English to their mother tongue. Or maybe you had a meeting with someone from abroad who wanted to get to know you better, but you noticed that your relationship only remained shallow because you did not speak each other's language. By learning a new language you broaden the range of people with whom you can build profound friendships without faltering in communication. Okay, of course it is impossible to master every language, just so that you can build a profound relationship with more types of people. But if there is one foreign person in your life who you really want to get to know better, or one culture you want to learn about, then learning the mother tongue is the way to go.



  3. Give your brain a boost
    Whereas in the early twentieth century scientists sometimes still thought that learning a new language could block the skills in the mother tongue, the consensus on this subject has shifted completely in the other direction after recent research. The fact that there are always multiple language systems active in the brain of multilingual people is now seen as a blessing, rather than a disability. When you speak more languages your brain is continuously trained to make the right choice from a range of words. As a result your cognitive skills are trained unconsciously. Something that comes in handy in practice: research shows that multilingual people are better in planning, adequate problem solving and multitasking (Prior & Mc Whinney, 2010). Also it has been shown that age-related memory loss is less common among people who speak several languages (Marian & Shook; 2012)

  4. Getting to know a language is the way to really dive into a new culture
    As you get to know people better when you speak their mother tongue, this also applies to other cultures. Do you have a favorite holiday destination where you go very often? Or foreign roots that you want to learn more about? Then you can best start by learning the language. If you speak the native language somewhere, you'll be better off in the crowd and never become a victim of tourist traps. Besides that and you will build a deeper relationship with the market traders, bakers, greengrocers and the inhabitants of your favorite holiday village. Also it gives you the ability to really appreciate national media and artistic expressions. Have you ever included Spanish telenovellos, Bollywood films, South African rap or Japanese manga comic books in the original language? Once you are used to this, you will notice how many nuances and jokes are normally lost in translation.



  5. Engaging in a new language and culture gives you the opportunity to observe your own culture from a distance
    Did you know that when you learn a new language and culture you learn at least as much about your own culture? See your culture as a house. It is rather difficult to form an opinion on your own house if you are constantly in it yourself and you have never really been in another house. You see the walls of the inside of the house and you see the interior, but you have no idea what it looks like from the outside or what kind of roof your house has. What is the bigger picture? Language and culture are strongly connected, especially if you learn a language through a language course. You immerse yourself in a new culture and you may feel at ease there. This gives you a clear view of your own culture. Many people grow old without ever really reflecting on the universal norms and values they grew up with and therefore took for granted. If you temporarily step out of your own web of truths by entering into a new culture, chances are that you will see your own rules of conduct and the things that you find 'normal' with a whole new pair of glasses. You are going to see things that you value very much within your culture, but also certain things that you think should be different.

  6. It works for your self-confidence
    Do you know the fear of asking foreigners something in their mother tongue because your lack of language skills? Changers are big that you rather not do this because what happens if you happen to say something very stupid or the people in question have no idea what you are trying to explain. Strange fear, because how do you view this when you turn it around? If a foreigner comes to you to ask you something in your own language, are you tempted to laugh at him? Or are you rather impressed by the fact that they have the courage to ask something in an imperfect way, stumbling and stuttering? Probably the last one (and otherwise you're a loser). Research shows that people with more self-confidence learn a new language faster and that conversely, learning a new language can give people more confidence. {Gardner, Tremblay & Masgoret; 2011). Not surprising, when you consider that you learn a language the best by talking to locals. Pretty scary, but as soon as you notice that you are doing quite well, your self-confidence will get a big boost. Chances are that this is contagious for other aspects of your life. Ever become an aspired photographer? Or to run a marathon or maybe become an artist? Everything is possible.

Excited to do a language course abroad and immerse yourself in a new country and culture? Check all destinations and language schools on www.extralingo.com :-).

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A1

A2

hearing You understand... • Some words and basic-sentences • Common words and sentences
supervisor_account You can... • Briefly introduce yourself
• Give answers to some simple question
• Introduce yourself (shortly)
• Give answers to some simple questions
mode_edit You can... • Fill in simple forms • Make short notes
• Write a very simple personal letter
 

B1

B2

hearing  
You understand... • The thread of a story • Different opinions • Usually the whole story
supervisor_account You can... • Join a conversations about everyday subjects
• Briefly give and substantiate your opinion
• Talk fairly well with locals
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mode_edit You can... • Write down experiences and impressions in a general way • Write down experiences and impressions in a detailed way
 

C1

C2

hearing You understand... • Complex stories and opinions • Literary and academic texts
supervisor_account You can... • Effortlessly take part in a variety of conversation • Effortlessly have complex conversations and discussions
mode_edit You can... • Write down comprehensive text
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• Use complex words in your descriptions

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