Bilingualism can be defined as the ability of a speaker to communicate in two languages. As of now, the largest part of the world’s population is bilingual rather than monolingual. Apart from supporting effective communication with people relating to different cultures or countries, bilingualism has a positive impact on cognitive abilities. Studies establish that a person with a bilingual brain has more flexibility to work in changing environments and multitasking capabilities compared to a monolingual brain that can speak only the native language. As per Hind Louali, astonishingly bilingual kids of merely six to seven months can adapt to changed circumstances much better compared to bilingual adults due to their enhanced cognitive power.
Advantages of Being Bilingual
Positive Impact on the Brain
Medical studies reveal that those who are bilingual have enhanced cognitive power and abilities. In fact, the ability to speak a second language simply means that the individual possesses better attention to understanding complex tasks easily which helps them superior in multitasking than monolinguals. The reason behind this is being bilingual implies that the individual can consistently switch from one to another language and can work more efficiently in different areas due to their higher cognitive ability.
It is no secret that people who can speak a second language tend to be less distracted and can focus more on different tasks. It is proven that bilingual children who know any second language have excelled in their academic life compared to monolingual students conversant with their native language.
It is again established that those who speak in second language can prosper in their professional life than monolingual individuals. Being bilingual helps get more and better job scopes depending on the demand of the second language they opt for. According to Hind Louali, while communication is essential in the workplace, more and more companies from national to multinational houses prefer employing bilingual candidates compared to single-language speaking candidates.
Certain fast-developing fields including healthcare, digital marketing, journalism, and tourism among others are giving greater value to bilingual employees. Being well-versed in a second language truly counts when it is found on a resume and thereby attracts potential employers to shortlist such candidates from the tons of applications even if the candidate is less qualified than a monolingual applicant.
Improves One’s Travel Experience and Boosts Awareness of Foreign Cultures
Ease in speaking and understanding the language of any foreign country makes it easy to communicate with individuals of a different culture and thus improves the experience of traveling. Being bilingual makes the individual go shopping, have casual conversations with co-passengers and locals, and place food orders hassle-freely at adjoining cafeterias. More importantly, knowing a popular second language boosts one’ self-confidence and personality than monolingual individuals. Put simply, in a party gathering a bilingual person can freely communicate with many attendees while a monolingual person would typically feel shy, uneasy, and awkward being unable to answer any question asked by a person from a different country.
Mental Health Benefits
Several medical studies have revealed that knowing a second language appears as a boon since it can delay the commencement of age-related cognitive disorders like Dementia or Alzheimer’s in people when compared with monolingual patients. Other health benefits of being bilingual include faster recovery from stroke and lessened tension among others.