Contrary to the sense of monolingualsm that is prevalent throughout the United States, knowing a foreign language is an incomparable skill. Not only is competency in another language a useful capability, it is also been proven to be beneficial to one’s health. Studies have shown that those who are well versed in a foreign language are less likely to develop mental illnesses in their later years, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, knowing one language ameliorates an individual’s chance at obtaining equal proficiency in a third language.
It appears that the limited knowledge that language requirements implemented by numerous colleges and universities provide is not truly helpful in the job market. This is rather wearisome, as a 2009 Hart Research Associates study deemed the proficiency in another language an imperative ability among graduate students.
Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Ty Matejowsky’s article Mind Your Language emphasizes the importance of mastering a foreign language also has in the world of anthropology. The ability to read, speak and understand the local language provides a much more recompensing ethnographic experience, as it permits the anthropologist at hand to more thoroughly understand the cultural insider’s perspective.
The material provided by Mind Your Language further solidifies my desire to obtain near-fluency in some foreign language. Before approaching this article, I was cognizant of the many benefits of knowing a foreign language in the work force. However, I was not aware of the physical and mental advantages that language competency in a foreign language also provides. That being said, it is evident that having some mastery of a foreign language is a skill that can be only beneficial to an individual.