Very often, students think that French is not something that they will use in the future, and stop prioritizing it as an important and valuable subject. Little do they know that those who study a foreign language earn increases in their performance of math and reading, and even their language arts test grades are considerably higher than those who don’t learn another language. Let’s look at a few of the extensive benefits of learning French as a second language.
An obvious reason to learn a new language is to be able to communicate with the people who speak it. Canada is a bilingual country and French is one of its official languages. It is exceptionally convenient to know French in order to be able to communicate with French speaking people, whether at home, travelling throughout Canada or visiting a country where French is spoken. Speaking another’s language shows respect for that culture, and people are delightfully pleased when tourists make an effort to speak the local language, even if all you can say is “hello” and “please.”
Speaking a new language helps you get to know different people and exotic cultures, but surprisingly they have more in common than you think! Learning cultural literature, film, and music in the original language will expand a person’s knowledge and creativity, including the historical relevance of where it is now. Additionally, contrary to English, the French language distinguishes between tu (familiar) and vous (formal/plural). The fact that many languages have both the familiar and formal way of saying “you” indicates that most cultures place a great emphasis on being courteous and polite when need be.
Business and careers
Speaking more than one language is a skill which will increase your marketability. Employers tend to prefer candidates who speak one or more other languages because it opens up business opportunities and transactions with a wider range of clients. Someone who speaks French will especially have an advantage over someone who doesn’t, so it’s key to know how to improve yourself to be even more successful.
Learning another language can help you to understand your own. When students learn any grammar or structure of another language, they understand it through the prism of their own language. In order to learn new things in French, the students ascertain the knowledge of their own, which clearly shows them connections between the two.
Children who study another language often have higher standardized test scores in math, reading, and language arts. Additional language study can help to increase problem-solving skills, memory, and self-discipline. If you are a native English speaker, one of the best reasons to learn French is to help you understand your own language. For those whose English is not their first language, you have double benefits: learning English and French at the same time!
To summarize, contrary to common misconceptions, learning French is just as important as learning math or language arts. People think that just because a student won’t need French in the future, it’s useless to acquire it now. But even though it might not seem like it’s affecting them that much, it brings a lot of benefits, presently-stretching their thinking and helping them to do better in all other subjects. “There is a lot of research that confirms that learning a second language gives a boost to their brain.” said Betty Gormley, the Executive Director of the Ontario branch of Canadian Parents for French (CPF). She also pointed to data that links language education with improved cognitive development in young students. Who said a student needs mathematic equations and learning how to solve trigonometry in the future anyways? Just like math expands logic in the mind, a new language opens up activity in the brain, trains your memory and magnifies skills.
At Rowntree Montessori Schools, students are given a “head start” in French Studies , as they begin to study in the Core French Programme during their Junior Kindergarten year. Click here for more details.