The Importance of Studying World Languages

In Defense of Learning A Second Language
The Importance of Studying World Languages

During your academic career, have you had the chance to take a foreign language? But have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I need to take this class?” 


Learning a foreign language has many benefits, such as helping cognitive function. Learning a new language helps to use a part of your brain that has been inactive, and by you using that part of your brain, it helps to improve things such as creativity, critical thinking with solving problems, and memory. As you practice more with learning a foreign language, you’ll be able to respond quicker and adapt faster to other languages. Learning a new language also helps to improve memory, by helping you memorize vocabulary and rules within the language.  


Studying a foreign language helps you to understand different cultures and diversity. Languages help to evolve cultures over time and expand diversity. When you study a new language, it brings you and others of different cultures together and encourages you to be able to trust and be open to others of different cultures. It also helps to expand your experiences, like travelling for example. This also includes the media in different countries. The media feeds people different types of information, whether it’s from a primary or secondary source. But knowing a different language and having knowledge from that country, you can compare new and different opinions from people of that country and get their acknowledgement and opinions without having a translator do it for you. 


Teachers that are part of the foreign language department were asked about the importance of learning a language. The first teacher that was interviewed was Mr. Q, a Spanish teacher at C Milton Wright High School.  

Q: “Do you believe learning a foreign language is important?”  

A: “Yes, I do, especially Spanish because there are a lot of Spanish speakers, and it’s the most spoken language around the United States.” 

Q: “Is world language an academic subject or a practical skill?” 

A: “I think it is a practical skill because it could teach you things such as lessons.” 

Q: “Do you believe it takes a lot of patience to teach students new languages?” 

A: “Yes, it does. Some students don’t learn as fast as other students, so you have to be patient with them.” 


The next teacher that was interviewed was Ms. Guerrera, also a Spanish teacher at C. Milton Wright.  

Q: “Do you believe students learning a foreign language is important?” 

A: “Yes, learning a language exposes us to different cultures, different ways of life, different experiences, different countries, and I think that’s really important to, like, create a well-rounded person, and I think it would be good for all of us in general.” 

Q: “Do you believe different students have different learning styles?” 

A: “I do believe that students have different learning styles. I try to kind of tap into students’ preferences with their learning styles when we do speaking activities, or listening activities, or writing, or reading, or when we do culture projects that involve music, and dance, and art. I’m just trying to kind of cover areas that students might feel most comfortable learning.” 

Q: “Do you believe it takes a lot of patience to teach students new languages?” 

A: “I do! Because it’s really difficult to learn new languages, and it’s a lot of repetition and a lot of practice and people are naturally going to make mistakes so, yes, I think it takes a lot of patience.” 

Q: “And do you believe that learning a language is a practical skill or an academic subject?” 

A: “Actually, in our more modern world, I most feel like it’s a practical skill because, like, for Spanish for example, we’re talking about different countries around the world where they speak Spanish but really there’s folks that are a community right here in Bel Air that speak Spanish, so if we have an understanding on their language or are able to communicate with members of our own community, then I think that that could be a good thing.” 


I agree with the foreign language teachers on the importance of world languages. I do believe that learning something new, like a different language, gives your brain a chance to take in new information, improving its cognitive abilities. I also believe that learning a new language can expand your experience with the world and limit barriers between different cultures.  

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