CLTA Discover Languages

Discover Languages . . . Discover the WorldDiscover the richness of language and the various cultures embodied in each language.Discover the world of opportunities that are available to those who speak languages other than English.Discover the benefits of multilingualism.Enhanced job prospectsAccording to statistics released in 2004, 1 out of every 6 jobs created in the world is an international job.Four out of five new jobs in the United States are created as a result of foreign trade.Each year, nearly 200,000 Americans lose out on jobs with business because they do not know another language.In March 2007, Monster.com listed more than 1000 jobs nationwide for those who speak French—not including military, government, or teaching jobs. Of those jobs, nearly 200 were in California.During that same job search, there were more than 500 jobs available for German speakers, of which 70 were in California.For Chinese speakers, there were more than 700 job openings, with 300 of those located in California.For those who speak Japanese, there were more than 1,400 job openings in the country, and 400 of those were in California.There were hundreds of additional jobs available for those who speak Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic or Russian.If you speak Spanish, you could have found more than 8,000 jobs in the country. Of those, almost 3,000 were in California.All told, Monster.com had listings for almost 13,000 jobs nationwide for speakers of the above languages. Positions included administrative assistant, video game customer support, help desk, customer service representative, travel agent, graphic design artist, lawyer, computer programmer, auto mechanic, editorial copy assistant, software engineer, and many others.People who can communicate in other languages are an asset to their employers because they can enhance relationships with the employer’s international partners and suppliers and encourage business with customers whose first language is not English. In addition, multilingual employees have access to media and advertising in the countries where the company does business.In 1996, the American Association of School Administrators identified knowledge of foreign languages as one of the most important skills that students will need to develop in order to prosper in this century.Academic and cognitive benefitsChildren who have studied languages tend to demonstrate greater cognitive development, creativity and divergent thinking than monolingual children.People who are competent in more than one language outscore those who are speakers of only one language on tests of verbal and nonverbal intelligence.Students who are learning another language show greater creativity at solving complex problems than their monolingual peers.Students who have the opportunity to study languages in elementary school surpass the national averages in reading, writing and mathematics regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status.The longer students study languages other than English, the higher their standardized test scores in those subjects.During the past several years, data from the Admissions Testing Program of the College Board definitely show a positive correlation between SAT scores and the study of foreign languages. In the “Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers,” the College Entrance Examination Board reported that students who averaged 4 or more years of foreign language study scored higher on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than those who had studied 4 or more years in any other subject area.While the results were the most impressive for the verbal scores, students who study foreign languages also outscored their non-language peers in the math, physical sciences and social studies sections of the SAT exam. This data has been consistent with each group of test takers since 1984.Personal benefits and benefits to societyPeople who communicate in at least two languages—whether the languages are learned or heritage—are an asset to the communities in which they live and work.Bilingual and multilingual individuals are better global citizens both at home and abroad.Multilingual and multicultural individuals exhibit a greater sense of respect for others who are different from themselves and, through their ability to converse with others, affirm the dignity of individuals from different cultures.Multilingual individuals have the ability to come to the country’s aid and to the aid of monolingual visitors and residents in times of need.Those who speak another language report having a higher self image than those who speak only one language.Bilingual and multilingual individuals have access to a world of travel, media, entertainment and culture that is closed to monolingual speakers of English, including a plethora of digital files available on the Internet.Research has shown that multilingualism can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.Multilingualism enhances the brain’s functioning by improving cognitive flexibility.Brought to you by the California Language Teachers’ Associationhttp://www.clta.nethttp://www.discoverlanguages.org