Deciding to study English in the United States, or anywhere for that matter, is a tough decision that takes serious planning, budgeting and a lot of courage. Here at Bridge, we see many students delay and forget about their dreams of learning English due to all that is involved in the process.
I am here to encourage you to take that leap and begin learning English as soon as you can. As we all know, most international business across the globe is being conducted in English. Apart from that, there are many other benefits to being multilingual. Here are just a few:
- Improved Professional Life – Speaking another language gives you a leg-up against your competition when looking and applying for jobs. A recent poll by one of the largest executive search firms (Korn/Ferry International) found that 64% of individuals in executive level positions spoke two or more languages. Additionally, Salary.com reports that multilingual employees can earn anywhere from 5-20% more than their monolingual co-workers.
- Increased Intelligence – Most people automatically assume you are smart once they find out about your ability to speak another language, generally based on their own experience and struggles. However, scientists have concluded that being bilingual does in fact increase your intelligence. The ability to speak more than one language improves cognitive skills unrelated to language, and strengthens cognitive muscles due to both language systems being active simultaneously. Scientists have also seen that multi-linguals have increased problem solving skills and are better at solving certain types of mental puzzles (New York Times).
- More Friends – Depending on what language you speak, you may have the ability to make anywhere from 155 million new friends (Russian) to 955 million new friends (Mandarin). If you are a Spanish speaker, you can communicate and get to know upwards of 405 million native Spanish speakers in the world. If someone were to learn just one language on top of their native language, think about the millions of new people that one could communicate with. Learn to speak English and you can meet 360 million new friends; learn to speak Arabic and you can now talk to 295 million people.
Regardless of why you want to learn English, it is hard to argue against the benefits of learning a new language. Taking the plunge and embarking on this journey of increasing your fluency in English is worth it because in the end you will be more successful, more intelligent, and have a lot of new friends!