Language impacts the daily lives of members of any race, creed, and region of the world. Language helps express our feelings, desires, and queries to the world around us. Words, gestures and tone are utilized in union to portray a broad spectrum of emotion. The unique and diverse methods human beings can use to communicate through written and spoken language is a large part of what allows to harness our innate ability to form lasting bonds with one another; separating mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom.
The importance of communication is often overlooked. Despite our great prowess in communication, misunderstandings and mistranslations are commonplace. It is arrogant to believe that one can travel the world and expect all of mankind to understand his or her native tongue. In order to travel the world, whether for business or pleasure, a desire and willingness to adapt to new cultures and methods is necessary. Adaptability, of course, includes the ability to communicate with new people in various dialects. Being unable to communicate in a country is akin to living with a serious impairment; it is very difficult and near impossible, to adapt and get along with new people if there is no way to communicate with one another.
Additionally, the ability to communicate in multiple languages is becoming more and more important in the increasingly integrated global business community. Communicating directly with new clients and companies in their native language is one of the first steps to founding a lasting, stable international business relationship. Being able to do this automatically puts any multilingual person miles ahead of his or her peers in the competition for jobs and high-prestige positions. Language is such a key aspect to setting up children for success in their future professional endeavors that high schools across the nation and in almost every Western country require at least two years of a foreign language. Most institutions offer opportunities to learn a foreign language at even earlier ages. In recent years, psychologists such as Agnes Kovacs have studied the intelligence and mental capacity of young bilingual children in comparison to monolingual children. As noted in the article Why Bilinguals Are Smarter by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee of the New York Times, the author states, “The collective evidence from a number of such studies suggests that the bilingual experience improves the brain’s so-called executive function — a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks.” Furthermore, by instilling a reverence for foreign language at a young age, parents put their children miles ahead of their future competitors.
The impact of multilingualism can be traced to even more fields. A doctor who can communicate with his or her patient in their native tongue is much more likely to have success at diagnosing them. A scientist or engineer capable of explaining his findings and ideas to his peers will be able to expedite and perfect their work, even if his peers could not understand him in his first language. Any hiring manager in any company in the world would tell you that the ability to speak a foreign language is a prized commodity. Learning to communicate fluently in multiple languages provides additional job security and advancement opportunities in uncertain economic times.
In order to prepare our nation’s children to be the next generation of future entrepreneurs, doctors, scientists, engineers, or whatever influential job they choose, we must foster an environment from a young age that promotes multilingual learning. Through this we are setting up ourselves, our children, and our children’s children, for growth, success, security, and ultimately, prosperity.
Therefore, it is up to you to create a warm and comfortable environment in which your child can grow to learn the complexities of language. The communication skills that your child learns early in life will be the foundation for his or her communication abilities for the future. Strong language skills are an asset that will promote a lifetime of effective communication