The Gift of Bilingualism



Martina Becerril

Hola! Hello! Have you ever wondered about learning a second language? What about a third?  In such a diverse world, learning a new language can open up many opportunities. I personally enjoy speaking both Spanish and English; however, there are challenges that accompany being bilingual. The process of learning a new language may seem nerve-wracking and tiring, but in the long run, it has a plethora of benefits. 

It opens the doors to more job opportunities

The polyglottal social media network, UNUHI, states that “communication in the workplace is important, and more companies, especially those with international offices, are considering bilingualism a high priority. Being able to communicate with foreign clients or customers is considered a big advantage too.” Señora Samblas, a Spanish teacher here at RHS, stated,“If you are applying for a job and you are fluent in a different language, you will stand out from the other applicants.” Not to mention, you can make others feel more at home if you speak to them in their native language both at the workplace and school.  For example, knowing multiple languages can be beneficial if there is a new transfer student who is shy or if people from certain backgrounds are underrepresented.  I’ve had these experiences here in Radnor. Since the Hispanic community is very small, I appreciate when I can speak Spanish with some of the other Hispanic students.

Extra Benefits

 If you already know a second language, it will be easier for you to obtain a third, since you already have an idea of the process. Bilingualism awakens that creative part of the brain that is dormant in monolingual people, which enhances their ability to innovate.  It also acts as a repellent for diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

Although it is a difficult process, learning a new language can only help you in the future. It was very hard for me to learn English because I grew up in a Spanish speaking household. Entering first grade, I barely knew any English, and it wasn’t until 5th grade that I became fully fluent in the language. I had a thick accent which made me feel ashamed, but there is no shame in having an accent. From experience, I learned that having an accent shows people that you are trying and not giving up. So if you can, learn a new language to help you later in life.  Take advantage of the language options offered here at RHS. Especially with all the diversity in this country, it’s extremely important to learn a foreign language. As Señora Samblas asserts, “Being monolingual is not an option anymore.”