Did you know that if you study a language at A-Level, you will live longer? Okay… That’s not entirely true, but research shows that being bilingual can delay Alzheimer’s for up to 4 and a half years.
So speaking a second language not only slows down mental ageing, but also broadens your career prospects. It also provides a variety of travel opportunities and makes you smarter all round. So why would you not want to study a language at A-Level?
In this article I’ll be explaining 5 amazing reasons why you should study at least 1 language at A-Level. Learning a second language can be challenging. But, if you want to expand your horizons and benefit yourself in all aspects of life, then keep reading.
- Advancing Your Career Prospects
- Travel The World With A Second Language
- Connect With Other People And Cultures
- Become Smarter By Learning A Second Language
- Make The Most Of Your Prime Learning Environment
Advancing Your Career Prospects
As psycholinguist Frank Smith once said, “one language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”. It goes without saying that speaking more than one language drastically broadens your career prospects. As the world is becoming more interconnected, companies are becoming multinational and expanding.
Simply put, being able to speak two languages can double the number of opportunities available to you. For example, if you want to become a Lawyer, and you speak French. Then you could work in any French speaking country across the world. Career paths that would not be open to monolingual people, such as translation, interpretation and language teaching become available to you!
In addition, UK based companies are trying to maintain strong connections with Europe post-Brexit. So being able to speak a second language is becoming a highly desirable quality for employees to have.
The need for languages and being able to speak two languages not widens your career path options. It also creates opportunities for you to work in international positions that involve travelling and exploring other countries.
Travel The World With A Second Language
Studying a language at A-Level opens up a variety of travel opportunities during your studies. Exchange trips are a great way to explore other cultures, while also developing a deeper understanding of the language. These can be done during your school holidays or during university with study abroad schemes and internships.
Aside from the educational travel opportunities, you can also travel for fun or take a gap year after A-Levels where your language skills will come in handy. Being bilingual is very useful for jobs such as Au Pairing, and jobs that need you to communicate with locals. This way you can understand more about the cultures you are visiting which will enrich your travelling experience. Allowing you to connect more with others and make great friends along the way.
Truthfully the travel possibilities created by learning a language at A-Level are endless. Both the educational opportunities provided during your studies and personal travel trips you take are greatly enhanced if you speak more than one language.
Connect With Other People And Cultures
Whilst travelling and working, you will continuously meet new people. Think about how many people you talk to in English everyday and how many friends, colleagues and peers you have. If you speak a second language you could communicate with double that amount of people.
The ability to communicate with locals whilst travelling gives you a more authentic and rewarding experience. Understanding everything around you, from the tourist attractions to the locals having conversations as you pass by, will give you a truly enriching experience. You will also be able to make more international friends. That networking will benefit you throughout your life.
Also, being able to switch between two languages is a pretty cool skill to show off to others! So learning a second language not only increases your connections to other people, but also deepens your cultural awareness and feeds curiosity.
Become Smarter By Learning A Second Language
Being able to speak multiple languages is proven to have a variety of cognitive and psychological benefits. The New York Times states that being bilingual actually makes you smarter overall because it improves cognitive skills unrelated to language. Learning a second language improves your memory, problem solving, concentration and multitasking skills. Which are all highly desirable qualities to have when applying for a job.
Bilinguals can also be more creative and flexible because they can switch between two dialects easily. It’s also suggested that bilingual people find it easier to learn a third language because they already have the skills required for learning languages.
Being bilingual can also slow down mental ageing, with some studies finding that speaking a second language can delay Alzheimer’s by 4.5 years. Switching between languages keeps the brain actively stimulated which helps delay cognitive decline. So if you study a language at A-Level, you can remember to thank yourself when you’re old and grey!
Overall, the lifelong cognitive benefits of speaking a second language are undeniable. Therefore, you’ll be doing yourself a massive favour if you start learning at A-Level.
Make The Most Of Your Prime Learning Environment
I know all too well that studying A-Levels can be challenging and a little overwhelming at times. However, when choosing to study a language at A-Level, you can take advantage of the situation you’re in.
You will have a structured learning environment where you can get support from teachers and practice with fellow students. This experience will put you in a great position for future study and travel opportunities, whilst also taking advantage of your prime learning ability.
The number of students studying a modern language at A-Level continues to decrease year on year. So those who do study a language will stand out. It also broadens your degree possibilities as you have the option to do joint honour degrees. Languages are often well paired with arts-based subjects such as Music, Design and History. They are also very useful with subjects like Law, Politics and Business.
Getting a private language tutor whilst studying languages at A level can be very beneficial. This will encourage you to achieve your highest potential. Research shows that our ability to learn a new language is strongest until the age of 18 so learning a language at A-Level is the best time to do it!
To conclude, there are many benefits if you’re studying a language at A-Level, in all aspects of life. You will not only have a wider range of career and degree options. But also you will develop a deeper understanding of cultures whilst travelling. As well as forming stronger connections with the people you meet in you personal life. Speaking more than one language creates a new realm of chances to better yourself that reach way further than that A-level exam paper.