What if I told you that you didn’t get that job because you speak only one language?
Don’t believe me?
In 2010, about 240,000 job postings were advertised specifically for bilingual workers…
And by 2015, those numbers rose to 630,000!
If there’s a job you’re qualified for and had your heart set on but didn’t get it…
Now you know why – Language.
“Oh, I don’t have the time,”
“Isn’t it too late?”
“It’s way too difficult.”
Yes, learning a new language is difficult, but what isn’t?
Sitting through hours of lectures and working on projects and assignments is challenging
Going to work is also difficult and preparing your favourite meal isn’t always easy but it is worth it.
Just as learning a new language is definitely worth it.
You might wonder how it would help your work experience or even help you at all…
But there are plenty of benefits to learning a new language:
- Breaks barriers and limitation
Imagine being able to converse fluently with someone else in their own language. It pulls down every hindrance and immediately poses you as a local. Take Trevor Noah for example.
- Creates opportunities
Many companies are looking for bilinguals and multi-linguals. Be that unique person that brings something new and refreshing to the table.
- Preserves opportunities
Become so valuable that your company cannot let go of you. Being able to communicate with foreign clients seamlessly is a gem that companies cannot let go of. Become that gem and preserve your position.
- Boosts confidence
It enables you to step into places that you once couldn’t. It sets you apart from your peers and adds weapons to your arsenal hence boosting your confidence.
- Cognitive benefits
Asides from creating and preserving opportunities, learning a new language helps you all-round.
Science has proven that bilinguals or polyglots have improved memory, better problem-solving skills, enhanced concentration, critical thinking skills, multi-tasking abilities and better listening skills compared to monolinguals.
You’re less likely to suffer memory loss and dull thinking at old age!
It’s true that the challenges of learning new languages can be scary and demanding, so much so that you run away from it…
But you don’t have to!
Here are some Simple Ways to Start Learning a New Language
- Take out 30 minutes to an hour daily to study the language.
Practice does make perfect. If you speak English fluently, that’s probably because you practised it every day for years; unconsciously and consciously; and each day you picked up on new vocabulary and fluency.
- Listen to audio files while you sleep
Research has proven that while you sleep, your brain isn’t idle. Take advantage of it and play tapes of your preferred language before you sleep. It will help solidify the memories of the words.
- Use mobile applications
Apps such as Duolingo, Anki, Memrise etc., help you learn new words, phrases and sentences all at your fingertip. It’s an easy way to keep learning throughout the day.
- Apply what you learn each day
As you go about your day, make a conscious effort to speak this new language daily. You could start with naming a few objects around the house or constructing basic sentences.
- Enroll in a class
Depending on the urgency and need, you should enroll in a class. Connecting with proficient speakers and mixing with people of like minds creates a conducive environment that fosters motivation.
- Read books or articles in the language you prefer and try to translate them.
- Watch TV shows with audio and captions in your preferred language.
- Translate basic sentences from your native language to the language you wish to learn.
- Learn the alphabets.
- Learn basic greetings and phrases such as, “good morning;” “thank you,” “please” and excuse me.”
Learning a new language doesn’t have to be dreadful or boring. It can be a fun and enlightening experience.