Why should you care about foreign language?

James Delvin

James Devlin

I have asked countless times in elementary school until college: “Why is it so important to study a foreign language?” I thought learning a foreign language was both a waste of time and tedious. It’s not like I had any plans to move to another country — at least not one that spoke another language. As I’m entering maturity I admire my friends who are bilingual and I wish I had had that devotion. They have shown me the importance of foreign languages.

A lot of the departments here at Georgia Southern University have a foreign language “requirement.” However, in our globally diverse, connected world, any establishment that can give you a chance at fluency in multiple languages is yielding more of an opportunity and not a “requirement.” People who train in a foreign language are prepared and enthused to think globally about their futures. It allows you to make connections around the world and opens a plethora of doors for opportunities and careers.

As a writing and linguistics major, I can see it build on the linguistic side of things. This is where fundamentals of grammar, semantics and phonetics get developed and help me to succeed in my everyday writing. As a result, learning the core to another language helps reinforce your awareness in your own language — your words, sentences and methods become a conscious process and a precious skill set.  Other cultures also offer beautiful literature we can only experience in that language. Setting that aside, the study of other languages isn’t just for translators or writers — it’s significant to other fields as well: computer science, public health, exercise science, business and more.

Learning foreign languages sharpens your brain, helping develop focus and problem solving. It will extend your understanding of our diverse world and make you a global citizen. Even in America we have a vast variety of people blended together in this melting pot of cultures. I believe foreign languages need to be an important part of any curriculum and taught early on.