An (Educated) Argument for Language Learning

August 10, 2012 / by Rachel Reardon

Let’s be honest: being a college freshman can be pretty overwhelming. In between all of the important decisions to be made (Which associations should I join? Can I find a mentor? Should I pursue research opportunities?), it can often be challenging to fit in everything a student wants to do. But one part of the higher-level education experience that we don’t think anyone should forgo is the opportunity to study and gain skills in a foreign language.

Of course, we’re clearly biased. So in true academic style, we’re going to lay out our supporting arguments for why we think you should make language learning part of your educational experience.

1) Increase job prospects and get an edge on the competition.

Knowledge of a foreign language not only increases the number of jobs you qualify for, but it also helps you stand out from the competition – even for jobs that don’t require bilingualism.

2) Open doors to international opportunities.

Ever wanted to join the Peace Corps? Volunteer for an overseas Habitat for Humanity project? What about an international mission trip? Or perhaps you’d like to teach English abroad? Knowledge of a foreign language opens the door to a wealth of experiences and opportunities. Don’t miss out.

3) Study works in their original form.

We all know that nothing compares to studying a work of literature, poetry, or song in its original form. Having an understanding of the language provides you with the ability to pick up on tone, voice, and other literary nuances that you likely wouldn’t be able to appreciate if studying a translated version.

4) Be awesome.

Let’s face it. Speaking a second language is just plain cool. Being able to say that you’re bilingual not only impresses friends and colleagues, but also provides you with a greater understanding and appreciation for foreign cultures. This knowledge will benefit you both academically and professionally, and also opens doors to incredible adventures. Being able to travel without language barriers allows you to venture off the beaten path, bond with locals, and essentially have the trip of a lifetime.

So we know you may be thinking, “sure, this all sounds great…but how am I going to fit this in to my busy academic calendar?” We know that it simply isn’t realistic for every student to invest in a full-time foreign language course. Well here’s the good news: Mango offers instruction in over 40 foreign languages, and it’s available anytime, anywhere for free through most libraries in the U.S. Log in from home, on campus, or even from your smartphone. Mango is designed to teach you practical content that you’ll actually use in the real world. So ask your college library today if they offer Mango Languages.

For more on how Mango Languages can benefit academic institutions – or to sign up for a free trial – click here.

Topics: Higher Ed, Language Learning and Culture

Rachel Reardon

Written by Rachel Reardon

Rachel works with some of the coolest marketers, designers, and writers around to help Mango look and sound its best. She loves bold colors, old books, the Montréal metro, and Star Trek. She has conflicting feelings about the Oxford comma.

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