Staff, students share benefits of bilingualism

Staff, students share benefits of bilingualism

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Career opportunities, person experiences offered to bilinguals

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Learning sign language also may open the door for career opportunities.

Many bilingual students attend Fresno Christian. Speaking multiple languages can be a major advantage in social and work environments. Benefits range from being more open-minded to expanded career opportunities.

Landon Goldsborough, ‘19, a monolinguist, discusses how he feels about being able to only speak one language.

“I feel narrow-minded, to be honest,” Goldsborough said. “Only being able to speak one language makes me feel narrow-minded but also kind of closed out. People that can speak multiple languages are more open-minded and know more in general and that is one of the reasons I am learning Spanish right now.”

Learning a language is no easy task and, for many, becoming fluent may take years. Starting with the basics and then advancing step by step is difficult for most but not impossible to overcome.

Brooke Stobbe is the AmeriStudent homestay coordinator on campus. After teaching English in France, Stobbe understands the difficulty of learning another language.

“It takes a lot of memorization and it’s really overwhelming,” Stobbe said. “You have to think of how many thousands of words you need to know and have memorized before you can successfully use them in a conversation. Put yourself out there and let yourself be embarrassed and let yourself make mistakes. Say silly things and ask a lot of question.

“It’s a really humbling experience to be so seemingly illiterate as people treat you like a child because you sound like a child when you speak their language,” Stobbe continued. “Don’t let that get to you and stick with it, because it will benefit you in the long run.”

I think there are many ways to make learning a new language a great experience. Look up things such as top 100 words and phrases, slang words and native proverbs or sayings. Also, it can be very helpful to travel to the country itself and meet some new people with whom you can have conversations, which greatly improves your language skills. — Tatiana Iest

Campus Spanish teacher, Rachel Rodriguez, encourages students to persevere through the challenges learning a language brings.

“My advice would be not to get discouraged,” Rodriguez said. “It has great benefits in learning another language. You are able to connect with more people and you can discover a whole other world for yourself. You can have more job opportunities and help more people.

“You have to get creative and find ways to enjoy learning the language if you don’t already,” Rodriguez continued. “Staying in touch with someone that speaks the language fluently helps out a lot because you can go to them if you have questions or don’t understand something.”

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Spanish and Chinese Bibles are provided on campus to help students learn languages in an interactive way.

Foreign exchange student, Nap Hang Wong, ‘18, talks about how to learn another language in a fun way.

“Memorize your favorite food first,” Wong said. “Learning your favorite food will help you because you will be learning something you like. Learning things you like helps a lot because you have interest in them. The hardest part of speaking a language you are learning is talking to a person that can speak that language fluently. It will make you stronger and the more you do it the better your communicating skills will get.”

Tatiana Iest, ‘19, explains how to make learning a language a better experience.

“I think there are many ways to make learning a new language a great experience,” Iest said. “Look up things such as top 100 words and phrases, slang words and native proverbs or sayings. Those are very entertaining and help familiarize the learner with the culture and life in the country where the language is spoken. Also, it can be very helpful to travel to the country itself and meet some new people with whom you can have conversations, which greatly improves your language skills.”

Having the ability to speak two or more languages is a definite advantage in society as well. According fluentu.com, bilinguals make 5-20% more per hour and have as much as $67,000 more in their retirement funds.

Spanish student, Brittany McCann,‘20, seeks to become more open-minded through a learning a second language.

“The benefits of being able to speak multiple languages are sweet,” McCann said. “There are benefits about how you become more open-minded. In my opinion, the biggest benefit is in the work industry. I have read online and been told how people that can speak more languages get jobs easier, get paid more and overall just have a better life. I am happy to be learning Spanish but once I’m done with Spanish I really want to learn Mandarin because it’s next on my language list.”

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Learning a new language takes months of practice and dedication.

People that can speak multiple languages have the opportunity to see the world in different ways. According to an article published on fluentu.com, bilinguals emphasize traits differently depending on what language they speak.

Arun Singh, ‘20, discusses how his personality changes when he switches from English to Punjabi.

“Your personality does change,” Singh said. “It depends on the person, to be honest. Some people I know change completely, others only change a little bit. For example, when I’m talking in English I tend to make more jokes and joke around. When I talk in Punjabi I tend to be a lot more serious and don’t joke around much at all. This is not just for me but other people I know as well.

“When they speak English they joke around and laugh but once they start to speak Punjabi some of them tend to still joke around but most kind of stop as if they don’t find the jokes as funny,” Singh continued. “I personally think it’s kind of cool that in one language we interpret something completely different than the other.”

Learning another language is a struggle for some but the benefits of learning a language do often outway the struggles of learning it. Just by understanding another language it is possible to see things from different perspectives. It is also possible to make more in the future and have more opportunities to experience other cultures. One way to get started before taking a class is by purchasing an online subscription to a language learning site like Rosetta Stone.

For more articles, read Eagles shutout Trona, win 8-Man Valley championship. For more features, read A look into the Fresno City nursing program.

This author can be reached via Twitter @Harjot01Singh and via email: Harjot Singh.

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By |2018-01-23T11:19:24+00:00November 29th, 2017|Features|0 Comments

About the Author:

Harjot Singh
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”,- Winston Churchill. Growing up in a low-income family, Harjot Singh lived without basic supplies and understands the value of money. Today Singh is planning to become a leading neurosurgeon or to become a professional basketball player. Having understood the pain of millions living without basic supplies he plans to do something about it. Contributing over 100 hours of community service from helping hand out food to the homeless to construct small buildings, Singh plans on doubling this by next June. For his goals, Singh’s gone to hospitals to understand the life being in the medical field and become comfortable with it. Also working harder than ever in basketball and weightlifting, pushing his body above and beyond its limits to become an unstoppable force on the court.

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