Learning a language in high school may feel like another graduation requirement, but in reality, the benefits will serve students beyond the classroom. Whether it’s Spanish, French, Mandarin or Arabic, the earlier students begin shaping their language skills, the easier it will be for them to understand and speak it. Check out a few of the top benefits to learning a second language:
Work the brain
Learning a new language is fun, but the benefits extend past the excitement of being immersed in a different culture. Students sharpen their minds as they learn how to read, speak and write in a new language. Studies show there are many cognitive benefits to learning a language, such as increased memory, stronger mental agility, enhanced decision making, and improved multi-tasking skills. Because the brain is switching between two languages and receiving input in multiple forms, it’s assessing the meaning in two ways and smoothing out complex patterns. This strengthens a student’s ability to concentrate and filter information.
Stand out to colleges
Many universities require at least two years of a foreign language for admission. However, students should strongly consider continuing to take language courses throughout their junior and senior years of high school. Not only will they continue advancing their skills and increasing their knowledge of the language and culture, but they’ll also be showing colleges that they have the ability to stick to a subject and, even better, that they value the importance of a well-rounded education. Students who remain consistent will have an advantage on their college applications over students who choose to take introductory courses every year. If your student has an idea of what career they want to pursue, they can study a language that will increase their chances of breaking into the industry, from law enforcement, national security, finance and more.
Build a better connection
Learning a second language can broaden your student’s ability to connect with and appreciate a different culture. They can further expand this connection by traveling or studying abroad. Having the ability to speak to more people when traveling boosts empathy and motivates them to continue mastering the language. When students practice interpreting different insights, they gain new perspectives and learn how to communicate ideas to others in a better way. They are able to use creative approaches to solve problems and experiment with new words and phrases to think more logically. These skills will benefit your student’s life beyond the classroom, allowing them to harness an entrepreneurial mindset and gain a competitive advantage in today’s globalized economy.
Get started today
Learning a second language is more than just learning how to communicate in a new way. The mental, social and cultural benefits will help your student thrive and improve their personal growth. ASU Prep Digital offers a variety of foreign languages, including French, Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, German and Latin. Be sure to check out our full course catalog and consider adding a language to your child’s course next semester.