Being Multilingual is very Important and Beneficial

The rewards are more than just financial


Sarah Gouvea

Being multi lingual is an advantage, and it can start in school.

Sarah Gouvea, Staff ember

World languages are a very interesting topic. While some know how to speak two or more languages, some only speak one. Why does it matter? How can knowing more than one language affect your day-to-day life? Can schools try harder to teach different languages? Are different languages necessary? 

Speaking a second language is very helpful and important. There are many opportunities and jobs that pay more or require one to be bilingual like: a bank clerk, customer service representative, teacher, flight attendant, translator, immigration paralegal, hospitality manager, human resources generalist, social worker, registered nurse, copywriter, sales representative, and marketing manager. For example, people who are bilingual or multilingual can get paid 5%-20% more per hour than those who are not. There has been a 30% increase in bilingual remote jobs since 2020 and 9 out of 10 employers depend on employees who speak languages other than English.  

Knowing another language can help you gain awareness of other cultures. It affects your day-to-day life. It can be confusing to translate every single word you think of, and there are also sayings that don’t make sense once translated.

Your brain is kept healthy and sharp when learning a language. People who are bilingual improve their attention control, multitasking skills, problem-solving, and creativity. 

I’ve met with several people, and when they find out I am bilingual and that I was raised in a foreign country, many questions pop up. Some even say, “I’ve been learning Spanish my whole life and I still don’t get it.” Well, the experience of moving to a different country with a different language in which you don’t understand the people around you and they don’t comprehend you is very different from taking a Spanish class with the option to speak your language of origin with both your classmates and teachers. Having to learn a new language because you have to differs from trying to learn and being able to use many different resources and a teacher. 

Teachers are an amazing resource for learning a new language (Sarah Gouvea)

Schools could do a better job exposing students to as much language as possible and making sure the learners don’t switch back to English or whatever their native language is. 

We also need to keep in mind that we live in a world full of languages. In the United States, in 2021, 813,861 people became naturalized citizens in the United States. There are between 350-430 languages spoken in the U.S.;  it is one of the most linguistically diverse countries.

Diversity, culture, and language are beautiful concepts that are super important and necessary. Kids need to be aware of the need and benefits of learning. They can’t be raised in a little box where they don’t know what’s on the outside. Kids need to experience new places, cultures, and languages.