According to studies done all over the world, bilingual people have more benefits than people who speak one language. Some of the benefits include, having a good memory, being a good problem solvers and being smart.
In Canada, about 11.5% (or 1.37 million) of the population speaks a second language (not including French) and English, according to Statistics Canada. In the world, 43% of people speak two languages (being the majority) and 13% of the world speaks three languages according to ilanguages. When your brain learns a new language, it also develops skills that you will need to learn said language, but then these skills will stick with a person for life.
Riverside is full of bilingual, and even trilingual students, including Jason Seo, who speaks English, French, and Korean. He said that knowing more than one language broadened his perspective on life, “When I walk around and hear people speaking French, I think Oh I can understand what they’re saying. I can’t do that when people speak other languages, so it feels good know what people are talking about, I mean, without getting all nosy. Also, you know more, so you feel like you understand more. I also translate sometimes as well, so that’s a good thing,” said Seo.
Riverside offers many great language programs, with languages including, French, Spanish and Japanese. Marjan Darbari, one of the twelve language teachers at Riverside, believes that learning a new language opens up your mind, your life and your horizons, and that learning a new language also means learning about a new culture. “I teach French immersion, and Spanish, and I speak English, French, Spanish and Farsi fluently. With a second language, when you travel, you can communicate and speak the language of that country. Scientifically, it’s been proven that when you learn a second language, the brain works harder, and it actually helps you with learning other things, like music and math,” said Darbari. She explained that she has always been very interested in languages, and that once you learn a language, you also learn how the people who speak the language, live, and that made her very aware of the world.
Many of Darbari’s language students say that when they go to places such as Mexico, they can say a few things, or order food. They said that they have become familiar with the Hispanic culture, and listen to Spanish songs.
Learning a new language forces your brain to exercise its abilities, and second languages make you “smarter.” Knowing a second language helps with travelling, work opportunities, communication, and of course, bragging rights. Any language, including Mandarin, Spanish, French, etc., will strongly benefit anyone willing to learn them for the rest of their lives.