Why you should learn a second language (Especially in college)

Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem.

The more languages you know, the more you are human. (Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk)

Supporting RU in sign language! Photo by Carina Garcia.

I have recently started taking American Sign Language classes here at Radford University. This experience has really opened my eyes, not only to the new language and to Deaf Culture, but also to the importance of other languages spoken all around the world. While learning a new language is very difficult and takes a lot of time, it’s a great experience, and all college student should take advantage of the foreign language courses at their college.

The most important reason to learn a second language is that you will discover so much! Not only will learning a language open your eyes to a whole new culture, you will be able to converse with thousands of new people who experience life differently from you.

Learning a new language is one of the most difficult things to do. Between learning new vocabulary and new sentence structures, you have lots of work ahead of you. But with all that work, your brain gets to develop and learn how to cope with processing difficult information.

Not only does this language get to tickle your tongue, but the experiences that you’re getting will really open new doors for you. There are many experiences that you can be included in. You could study abroad or just travel with a backpack and an open mind. Dave Barry once said, “Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.”

Another thing that can benefit students who learn a second language is that students can make new friends on campus. Having a class that is a shared passion with other students is the greatest way to connect with other students. Being able to share something as huge as a different language is so much fun!

There are a lot of advantages to learning a second language. You should give it a try, and maybe you will find something out about yourself that you didn’t know. There are lots of different languages offered at RU; signing up for one could potentially change your entire life!