An old saying goes, “It is easier to learn than to relearn.” That generally means that once someone learns a particular way of doing something, it can be harder for that person to learn another way to do it. That generally is true of language communications.
Learning a second language at an early age is relatively easy for most children. After all, they are just learning to talk for the very first time. Most people continue learning to speak a language for many years as they learn more about a particular language.
Physical Development Could Affect the Ability to Speak Another Language
Learning a second language at an early age means learning how to physically pronounce words as well as attach meaning to them. When a child learns one language, it is much easier to learn a second language. That is because the child is still developing the ability to communicate through speech and eventually through writing. Learning a second language is much easier for a child than for an adult.
An adult who has been speaking the same language for decades could have a harder time pronouncing certain sounds in another language. Because the adult has learned to speak in a certain physical manner to correctly pronounce words in one language, the adult generally faces more difficulty learning how to speak a second language decades after mastering the first.
Cognitive Benefits of Learning a Second Language
The many benefits of learning a second language include better grades in school and greater confidence when interacting with other people. Children who learn two languages have the ability to become truly bilingual. That helps them confidently communicate with others in either language and reach a broader audience.
Bilingual students who take their studies seriously also have an advantage when applying for acceptance at a college. Many colleges and universities value bilingual students and are eager to accept those with strong academic records from high school.
More Employment Opportunities
Being bilingual gives adults a strong advantage in the job market. Many professions greatly value bilingual workers. Some employers search for those who can speak and write in particular languages in addition to English or Spanish. The fewer languages barriers, the wider the potential audience with whom a person could communicate effectively.
Speaking two or more languages makes many employees especially valuable and can create greater work opportunities. It also enables some workers to obtain jobs that require travel to nations that speak particular languages. The ability to travel the world and still communicate effectively in more than one language is a true asset.