Why Choose Bilingualism?
Today, more of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual than monolingual.
In addition to facilitating cross-cultural communication, this trend also positively affects cognitive abilities. Researchers have shown that the bilingual brain can have better attention and task-switching capacities than the monolingual brain, thanks to its developed ability to inhibit one language while using another.
In addition, bilingualism has positive effects at both ends of the age spectrum: Bilingual children as young as seven months can better adjust to environmental changes, while bilingual seniors can experience less cognitive decline.
The benefits of being bilingual
Positive effects on the brain
Studies show that being bilingual has many cognitive benefits. According to research, speaking a second language can mean that you have a better attention span and can multitask better than monolinguals. This is because being bilingual means you are constantly switching from one language to the other.
Many studies show that those who speak a second language are more likely to be less distracted and more focused on tasks. Even bilingual children who are educated in their second language have actually been seen to outperform monolingual students in their native language.
Speaking a second language has numerous employment benefits. Being bilingual means that there are more job opportunities depending on which languages you speak. Communication in the workplace is important, and more companies, especially those with international offices, are considering bilingualism a high priority.
Fast growing fields such as tourism, journalism and translation put great value on bilingual employees. Additional languages on a resume could have an application moved to the top of the pile and give the applicant a better chance at getting the job, even if he/she isn’t as qualified as another monolingual applicant.
There have been many studies proving that being bilingual can benefit one’s health. There is growing evidence to suggest that bilingualism can delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for example. Other benefits of being bilingual include things such as a faster stroke recovery, lower stress levels, and delay many effects of old to name a few.
“To have another language is to possess a second soul” said Charlemagne. One of the benefits of being bilingual can mean that you see the world in different ways. Some even say that speaking two different languages can sometimes feel like having two different personalities.
Bilinguals are used to constant change. This means that they are usually less affected by changes in the environment, and more open minded to new things and new experiences, because they have more than one view of the world already.
At Home in the World
Of course you can get around many countries without speaking the language. However, think of how much more you can experience if you speak the local language of the place you are visiting. No need for a phrase book or a translation app on the phone. Being able to communicate with the locals and immerse yourself in the language and culture can make your travel experience so much more enjoyable.
Bilinguals can make friends in more than one language meaning more opportunities to meet new people, and enjoy different hobbies and activities. Being able to communicate with people from other cultures is a huge social advantage and can open up so many more doors in life.
Facility for Learning Languages
An amazing benefit of being bilingual is that you can learn additional languages more easily that monolinguals. This is because language skills reinforce each other. So if you have learned a second language already, then learning a third means transferring those skills over.
Pass it On!
What better advantage, than being able to pass on your languages to your own children so they can reap the benefits of being bilingual too! Give your children the best start in life and raise them bilingual from birth. Your bilingual kids can then have bilingual kids of their own and languages can be passed on through generations.
Bilinguals are the Majority
One of the biggest misconceptions is that bilingualism is a rare phenomenon. But, in fact being bilingual means you are NOT the minority. More than half the world speaks more than one language on a daily basis. In many countries around the world, bilingualism is actually considered the norm. Everyone should have the chance to learn a second language and reap the benefits of being bilingual.
Benefits of French
Why choose to learn French?
There are currently over 300 million French speakers worldwide. French is one of the very few languages spoken all over the world, ranked the sixth most widely spoken language after Mandarin Chinese (over a billion speakers), English, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic.
As a result of population growth, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie estimates that the number of French speakers will rise to over 700 million by 2050, 80% of whom will be in Africa.
French is unusual in that it often exists alongside other languages in multilingual contexts.
French is Europe’s second most widely spoken mother tongue with over 77 million speakers, after Germany (around 100 million), but ahead of English (around 61 million). French is predicted to become the most widely spoken mother tongue in Europe by 2025 and the most widely spoken mother tongue in the world by 2050.
Just as English benefited from the synergy of multiple forces in the 20th century, French may benefit from the synergistic effect of a globalized francophone culture in the 21st century. It is interesting to note that only 36% of native French speakers live in Europe, a powerful indication that while French is indeed a European language, its future is global and its status is impacted by the same global forces that have led to the rise of English.
The Power of the French Educational System
Students learning through the French curriculum are taught to truly respect academic prowess and independent, analytical thinking, emphasis on cultural knowledge.
A worldwide network of schools offers one unique program, the French national curriculum, though the way the curriculum is taught can be tailored.
There are 495 international French schools in 137 countries. Moving between those schools is easy for those students (no test required).
International French schools possess a strong foreign language program.
The French Baccalauréat is an internationally recognised diploma.