Debra Mercora works as a NJ Superintendent of schools and is passionate about providing quality education to students. In the following article, Debra Mercora explores why introducing a secondary language in education is so important, not just for practical reasons but also for cognitive development and cultural awareness. From enhancing job prospects to improving cognitive function, the advantages of a bilingual education are numerous and far-reaching.
Everyone tends to agree that learning another language is something that can aid in the intelligence and intuition of the human mind. However, the necessity of introducing this instruction into schools has yet to be agreed upon. As educators, we look at the benefits of multilingual education and how it provides a multitude of benefits for students throughout life.
According to the Universal Journal of Educational Research, more than one billion people in our world speak more than one language fluently. Multiple languages are therefore a resource that can be applied globally, in addition to growing cognitive skills and collaborative abilities in students.
Below, Debra Mercora, Superintendent in NJ covers the benefits of introducing a multilingual education and how this is beneficial for all communities.
Benefits of Learning Multiple Languages
Debra Mercora of NJ says that this lofty goal of encouraging multiple languages can help more than just bilingual communities and students; teachers and professionals throughout every branch of academia should be aware of how more than one language can be useful.
With so many startlingly important benefits, Debra Mercora looks at each in more detail.
Collaborative Learning Skills Are Developed
Programs that teach a second, or non-native language is an efficient way to introduce the young mind of a student to the vastness of the world they live in. When a student is introduced to a second, or even third language, it encourages the experiences of learning from a wider demographic of teachers in a variety of trades, too.
Students Learn More Quickly
Truthfully, studies show that children who learn a second language are using more of their mind’s capacity to learn than those who do not, especially early in life.
Multilingual Students Have Lifelong Academic Advantages
Not only do employment positions sometimes require or offer greater benefits for adults who are bilingual, but academic opportunities arise much more quickly for students who are as well.
Teaching a child more than one language, even simultaneously, sets their minds up for success by creating a greater focus later in life and global career opportunities. Additionally, Debra Mercora, Superintendent says that the skill of being able to learn more than one language can be applied throughout higher education, too.
Early Education in Multiple Languages Creates Natural Fluency
When a student is exposed to learning a new language early in life, they will attain nativelike language proficiency more quickly. This is especially beneficial as the elasticity of their brains is often still at its peak!
Multiple Languages Allow a Student to Enter the Worldwide Conversation
Learning a second language does not cause language confusion, language delay or cognitive deficit, which have been concerns in the past. Children who learn a second language can maintain concentration despite outside stimuli better than children who know only one.
In fact, Debra Mercora, Superintendent explains that the languages of Chinese, Russian, Hindu, Spanish, German, and many more are not only the first languages of the native people of that country, but they are often the official languages of the country. That being said, in universities around the world, languages like the African Kiswahili are being adopted as programs on a regular basis.
To help our students join the growing conversation that other countries take part in around the world, the best service we can perform is implementing secondary language classes early in education settings.
The benefits of multilingual education prove the importance of introducing a secondary language in education is essential. Not only does speaking more than one dialect fluently improve a student’s overall ability to learn, but it sets those students up for success in their continuing education, and beyond.
Students who are taught a secondary language early in the academic career will benefits from the new brain connections, and deeper concentration levels found in bi-lingual people. In a world where more than one billion people speak several languages, this skill can only be considered a great asset!