Reasons to Learn a New Language

Language is the way we communicate. It’s what makes us human and allows us to connect with others. It’s what we use to express ourselves, our needs and wants, and to issue directives. It’s also what gives us a sense of identity and belonging.

You can learn another language for a variety of reasons. It can give you a new perspective on the world, improve your communication skills and help you meet new people, among other things.

Studies have shown that children who learn more than one language have greater empathy for people from different backgrounds and a better appreciation of their own culture.

They are also more likely to avoid violence, which can contribute to a less envious, more peaceful society. There are many different reasons to learn a new language, but some of the most common are listed below:

Learning a Second Language Can Give You a New Perspective on the World

It’s all too easy to be wrapped up in our own little bubbles and forget that there is so much else out there. The more we learn about the rest of the world, the more open and understanding we become.

For example, if you live in the US and have never had a chance to see or experience the sights of Europe, learning a few words in German is an incredible opportunity. It could help you understand why the country is so fascinating, and what it means to be a German in a modern, globalized world.

Being able to communicate in your native language is an important skill for many employers and will allow you to be more productive at work. You’ll also be able to make more informed decisions about your career and where you want to live in the future.

It Can Help You Stay Mentally Fit

Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced language student, learning a new language can be an amazing brain-health boost. Not only does it improve your listening and cognitive abilities, but it can increase the volume and density of grey matter in certain areas of the brain.

It Can Help You to Keep Your Memory Strong and Flexible

If you’ve ever tried to remember something new in a foreign language, you know how frustrating it can be. You have to figure out the grammatical rules, the vocabulary and even the pronunciation of each word.

But the more you practice, the more your language skills will improve. Plus, you’ll gain confidence in speaking your new language as you start to overcome any fear of making mistakes in front of others.

It Can Help You to Become a Better Parent

When your children learn a second language, they’ll develop a better ability to juggle linguistic input and distinguish between relevant information and background noise. This helps them to understand the world more clearly and can improve their academic performance in school.

Specialty English Courses For Migrants and Refugees

Migrants and refugees need access to quality English language training as part of their resettlement and integration process. Depending on the country and the context, this may be offered as part of their orientation programme or it may follow their arrival. In Australia, for example, the “Adult Migrant English Program” (AMEP) and equivalent courses help eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants with low English levels to improve their English language skills and settle into Australia.

Offering language training to resettled refugees can help them adjust and reintegrate more quickly, while also helping them develop skills that they will need in their new society. This includes communication, understanding the local culture and learning about the health care system, government programs, education and social services.

Some governments offer migrant and refugee language classes at their schools, colleges or other adult education facilities. These can be full-time or part-time, in daytime or evening sessions. Some of these classes are held at a community centre, where participants can also get child care and transportation assistance.

The most effective language training for migrants is a combination of structured learning activities and informal opportunities to practice. These include on-line instruction, home tutor schemes and other flexible learning options.

For adults resettling to an area where they do not speak the language, a basic level of English can be learned through the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). These courses provide ESOL and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) classes to assist those with limited skills in the language.

A key aspect of these courses is that they are designed to improve a student’s skills in all skill areas, which can be essential for employment and further education. Courses are delivered in English by qualified instructors and can range from beginner to advanced levels.

Many migrant and refugee students have limited financial resources, the cost of migration, housing, travel and expenses related to interstate removalists can stretch budgets, so the cost of these courses can be prohibitive for them. This is why the AMEP is a free service to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants who hold a permanent visa or an eligible temporary visa and to Australian citizens who previously held a permanent visa. For a list of Providers, click here.

Volunteer Tutor Scheme

The Volunteer Tutor Scheme is designed to support migrants and refugees who cannot attend AMEP classes and need a little extra help. Anyone with an interest in linguistics and education can be a volunteer tutor for the AMEP Program.

Tutors are trained to teach specific subjects and are encouraged to develop their own curriculum, based on the needs of the students they serve. This helps to ensure the classes meet the language needs of the students, while ensuring the tutors have the tools they need to teach the classes effectively.

Retail-Contextualized English for Workers

The Forum has partnered with organizations like Walmart and the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education to create industry-contextualized English training to increase workplace language proficiency. These skills can have a lasting impact on career mobility, which is crucial for businesses and communities.