These days, speaking additional languages is seen as an asset in the business and customer service world with many companies and organizations paying extra for those who can speak both Spanish and English, for instance. Of course, that’s not the only advantage provided by knowledge of a second language. Research has shown that bilingualism has other benefits too.
In school, children who know two languages often succeed academically and develop superior overall language skills. They often have higher test scores and can demonstrate more advanced skills than their single-language peers. This difference can last through their college years and carry over into on-the-job learning too.
People who are fluent in two or more languages develop dementia less frequently or at an older age, according to recent studies. Scientists believe that bilingualism provides some degree of resistance to Alzheimer’s because of the additional cognitive resources used by the speaker. Essentially, speaking a second language exercises the brain and may prevent deterioration too-often seen in seniors. According to some studies, bilinguals are often found to have better memories in general.
For many people, this is the biggest benefit of knowing another language. Many employers actively seek bilingual employees for customer service and other positions. Estimates indicate that those who speak two languages typically earn between five and twenty percent more on average. The military and other government agencies also have a high demand for those who can translate or teach another languages, especially native speakers.
For those who are immigrating, a good knowledge of English as second language (ESL), in addition to their mother-tongue, can be a big asset. Another important asset during the immigration process is access to high-quality legal advice from an immigration attorney.