Filed under Arts & Life

Being bilingual offers various benefits

For students who studied a foreign language in highschool, it was more than likely a new experience.

There can be benefits involved when you know more than one language, according to Gisèle Loriot-Raymer, associate French professor.

Loriot-Raymer said,”[Learning more than one language] is really…a wonderful goal.” She said that becoming fluent in another language “makes your mind more flexible.”

It has been proven by neuroscientists that those who speak more than one language are much more mentally nimble and flexible, explained Loriot-Raymer. She also stated that it helps with memorization.

People who speak more than one language are attractive to employers, Loriot-Raymer said.

“Languages added to an application open up lots of opportunities,” she said. “You can use languages, of course, in business…whether it’s French or Spanish or Japanese or German.”

Approximately 21 percent of US citizens speak a language other than English in their home, according to the 2010 Census.

“It is a mistake to think that one language, for example, English, is the solution to global communication,” Loriot-Raymer said. “We have to be bilingual, trilingual; we have to be polyglots [someone who speaks several languages].”

However, learning a language is not just about memorization.

“Learning a language is not just learning an alphabet and sounds and so on. It is learning a culture, it is learning a new way to look at the world,” Loriot-Raymer said.

Irina Vorobyeva, a graduate student originally from Russia studying computer information technology, said, “It’s nice to be able to speak with people from cultures, like England and different countries.”

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