Is it important to know another language?

By: Alina Dang

To the Editor:

Because English is an international language, students in some foreign countries are required to learn both their native language and English. However, English is already spoken in the United States. Should all high school students be required to learn a second language? I agree with the New York Times article written by Jeremy Engle that knowing another language is very important. Although learning a second language may be a struggle, it is extremely beneficial for all students.

The United States is known as a melting pot, where people from all different countries, backgrounds, and ethnicities come together to create a large community. Because of all the different backgrounds, there are a lot of different languages. Although English is the most common and most spoken, many people still speak a variety of different languages. Being able to speak a different language allows students to understand more about the people around them. Learning a language can expose you to the culture and learn more about the people associated with the culture.

Learning a foreign language, specifically the more common spoken ones such as mandarin and spanish, may be very beneficial to a student in the future. Being able to speak a second language strengthens communication skills. Studies show that people who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills. Because being bilingual comes with many gains, I believe that knowing a different language is very important.

Alina Dang

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