Here’s Why You Should Learn to Be Bilingual
Are you able to speak or understand more than one language? Because if you can’t, you are really missing out on all the perks and benefits that come with being multilingual or bilingual. English might be the most utilised language in Singapore, but most Singaporeans are able to understand and speak at least two languages. This is due to the mandated mother tongue classes that every Singaporean student has to take during their primary and secondary school curriculum.
If you are not Singaporean (but live in Singapore) and can only speak and understand one language, you are definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with Singaporeans for jobs. If this reason alone is still insufficient for you to pursue learning another language, School of Language International (SLI) has come up with a list of perks which might incentivise you to become effectively bilingual.
1. Increase Awareness of Other Cultures
Singapore is a melting pot of various cultures, if you have recently moved to our sunny island, taking up a new language will definitely help you communicate better with food vendors, service providers and your potential colleagues at work. Besides, it is a great opportunity to learn more about the different cultures in Singapore simply by learning the basics of a different language. Learning a new language, such as mandarin, can expose you to the traditions, practices and history of people who are different from you.
2.Make Travelling Easier and More Enjoyable
Assuming that you can only speak English, travelling to non-English speaking parts of the world will be very inconvenient for you, even with Google Translate as your go-to translator. A good amount of time will be wasted fiddling with your phone to figure out certain phrases or words instead of taking the time to admire the sights and sounds of another country.
Just imagine learning some basic conversational Mandarin before heading to places like China or Taiwan – it can make a world of difference to your travel experience! Understanding local languages can also act as a form of protection or security for you and your travel companions as you can avoid overpaying while shopping and shun swindlers or bad deals.
3. It Can Make You More Attractive
Being able to communicate and express yourself with multiple languages is apparently highly attractive to the opposite sex. While it might not be highly scientific, a Valentine’s Day survey done by a language software provider showed that 79% of participants think someone who is bilingual is more attractive while 77% saw bilinguals as more intelligent due to the ability to speak another language. Boost your confidence in the dating pool by taking up a new language today!
You Can Raise Bilingual Kids
Research has shown that young children have the ability to learn languages at a highly accelerated rate before they hit the age of 10. This means that your child will be able to pick up languages effortlessly if you make it a point to use multiple languages at home while communicating with them, before they grow older.
Our ability to take up a new language and become fluent in it sharply declines after the age of 18. While it might be a steep learning curve for adults to learn new languages, you can be sure that your child will not have to go through such an effortful time when you teach them the languages you know from when they are young.
Take Up a Second Language with SLI
It might be challenging to learn a new language during adulthood, but it will be worth it with all the perks being bilingual can bring to your life. Take up the challenge now and enroll yourself in basic conversational mandarin classes or online chinese lessons on SLI. If you only speak your native language, you can also take up english language courses with us to better assimilate into Singapore.