Bilingualism: An Advantage?

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As a student who has spent a year studying abroad in Mexico and learning another language, the topic of bilingualism was fascinating to me. Our book discusses several advantages and disadvantages to learning a second language.
One disadvantage is that syntax in a language is affected as many languages have contradicting syntax patterns; this problem is eventually addressed as the student spends more time learning the language.
Despite the disadvantage of confusing syntaxes, the advantages of learning a second language seem to far outweigh the potential difficulties. Students who learn a second language have an increased metaliguistical knowledge; that is to say that they better understand part of a language and how they work together. This has certainly been true for me. As I have increased my ability to speak Spanish, I have come to a greater understanding of how language is structured and used.
Apart from the linguistical benefits of learning a second language, there are also a great number of social benefits. This article discusses one student's experiences learning a second language and the ways that doing so have opened up more opportunities for her. In my experience, learning Spanish has not only provided me another way to communicate but has given me an even greater insight into another culture and the issues that surround it.

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I agree that syntax definitely differs in other languages. I am currently studying French for my minor and I have discovered that it's hard to always know which phrases best suit the context of a conversation or topic. I also agree with your post, that learning another language helps you to better understand how languages are structured.

I agree that as you learn a new language the syntax of that language is hard to grasp. But as you continue to spend more time learning the language, you can master the issue. Learning additional languages is very beneficial to one's life. It can create many opportunities in acquiring jobs and it also provides a greater understanding of other cultures. This new knowledge can make someone well-informed about the issues in the world.

You had a very interesting post. I enjoyed how you featured personal input, but one of the things that I would like to know is how the context/syntax difficulty that a person sometimes has is impacted with the age at which they learn the language. Perhaps if one learns a second language at a younger age there is less confusion? Just some food for thought!

What an interesting post. As an international student, I am happy that there are many advantage for learning second language. Language is a kind of their culture, so as learning their language, we can learn their culture. I just wonder why people who learned second language when they were young speak well even though they do not know the grammar(syntax/structure).

This post was very interesting to read! I am also studying Spanish and am planning to study abroad in Spain. The book mentioned that if a person is immersed in the language and culture it is easier to become fluent, which is what I hope happens to me. After reading the book I wish I would have started to learn a second language at a younger age because being bilingual has so many opportunities and positive outcomes.

I definitely agree that learning other languages is a great way to learn about other cultures throughout the world. In high school, I took Spanish for four years and really enjoyed it. I did not have the opportunity to visit and spend some time in a Spanish-speaking country however, which I still might want to do someday. Discovering similarities between languages is a really fascinating thing. It can really help when trying to learn and become more fluent with a language. I think it is really cool how you went to Mexico. I hope to study abroad someday because I really do think it is very important to explore and familiarize yourself with other cultures.

What other cognitive and social benefits are there of a second language? Does age matter?

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This page contains a single entry by franz162 published on March 3, 2012 10:07 AM.

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