There are so many good reasons to learn a new language! It helps improve your knowledge of basic grammar, other cultures, and can open the doors to traveling to new and exciting places with people you otherwise might never have met
But many more benefits of learning a second, third, or fourth language often go unnoticed. Our director, Lynn, turned us on to this article written by Capt. Mark Jacobsen. He’s an American pilot studying Arabic in Jordan, and he has a lot of insight into how his life has been improved by learning the language there.
He notes that when you’re learning a new language, or even speaking one without total fluency, you’re forced to really listen to the people around you. Day to day, we have dozens of conversations with people, but between rushing off to our next task and our preconceived notions, we might not end up really hearing what the other person has to say.
Language also helps foster intrapersonal growth. You can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re learning a new language; being a perfectionist won’t get you far when you’ve got to go out on a limb to express yourself with a vocabulary you’re uncertain of. You might make a fool of yourself, but this helps you to learn that it’s okay. Language is a great teacher of humility and humor.