As with English speakers the world over, it is very easy to be a complacent monoglot in Botswana. There are immigrants from all over Africa who stay in Botswana, so if we learn their language it bridges social barriers. A person gets to enjoy social and economic benefits, as well as the mental benefits of learning a foreign language.The following are 10 benefits of learning another African language.
1. Your First Language Is Improved.
A student of foreign language is exposed to a whole new language structure and makes him more conscious of vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, idioms, sentence construction, comprehension and conversing.
2. You Become More Flexible To Other Cultures.
Since a language is a doorway to a particular culture, learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of that race or culture. Opening up to a culture allows you to be more flexible and appreciative of other ways of doing and looking at things.
3. It Aids In Self-Discovery And Self-Actualization.
It is an interesting outcome, not at all something that you list as your expected result when you embark to learn a new language. But trying to understand a language and the heritage that goes with it will put you in a position of self-discovery. It makes you come to terms with how you view the world and other cultures, and have more appreciation of your own.
4. You Become Smarter.
Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognize, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well.
5. You Build Multitasking Skills.
Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing, and structure. This juggling skill makes you a good multitasker, because you can easily switch between different structures.
6. You Become More Perceptive.
Multilingual people are better at observing their surroundings. They are more adept at focusing on relevant information and editing out the irrelevant. They’re also better at spotting misleading information.
7. Memory Is Improved.
The more the brain is used, the better its functions work. Learning a new language structure entails familiarizing with vocabulary and rules, and applying these memorized information into communication. This strengthens memory because the brain has built its ability to associate information with mnemonics and retains information better.
8. The Mind Becomes Keener.
Multilingual people have alert and keen minds. They easily spot anything that is irrelevant or deceptive. The discipline that they developed in studying an unknown subject has molded them to become more perceptive. Thus, they learn to be critical-thinkers.
9. It Builds Self-Confidence.
Self-confidence is a natural consequence after summing all benefits of learning a new language. By simply mastering one skill, the other faculties are developed. People tend to gravitate around multilingual people because of their skills; others simply find the polyglots’ openness and quick-mindedness naturally attractive.
10. It Expands Career Potentials.
With universal unemployment problems, a multilingual ability is definitely a competitive edge over others. It is an ability that tells of a person’s intelligence, flexibility, openness to diverse people, and decision-making skills. And these are just bonuses to the evident ability to communicate in several languages and cross cultural barriers.