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Being Bilingual will Help You Learn a Third Language

By: Amy Nutt

Learning a third language

Due to expanding technology, our world has become a much smaller community. We are now encountering more people with diverse backgrounds and languages. Many people are now speaking languages other than their native tongue. It used to be common to speak two languages but now speaking a third language is becoming popular.

A bilingual is a person who speaks two languages. A trilingual is a person who speaks three languages. It has been discovered that those who are bilingual are better able to learn a third language. A third language learner is a person who has already acquired two languages and is learning a third one.

Research has revealed that bilingual people who are learning a third language can learn more easily, obtain better scoring on oral and written tests, understand instructions and answer questions more successfully, more likely to be involved in classroom activities, more attentive in class, are more enthusiastic about learning, and pronounce words more accurately and clearly.

Those who are bilingual and are learning a third language have been found to have a better understanding of how the third language works because they can draw distinctions between the other two languages. They are able to identify the similarities regarding grammar, spelling, vocabulary, as well as identify similar words, phrases and sentence structures. They are also able to quickly and easily understand the various language rules.. They are also more likely to practice the third language outside of the classroom because their self-confidence is boosted. Those who have a native language that is similar to the language they are learning are able to learn the new language at a faster rate.

In order to fit in to a new environment, some native speakers may be less likely to use their native language. Researchers have found that those who obtain a third language are often more confidant and enthusiastic with achieving a higher education. Bilingual third language learners are more likely to start using their own native language outside of their homes and in places where their language is not commonly spoken. They feel more confident when speaking so they start to enjoy it and speak more often. Their self esteem is boosted making them more successful in other parts of their life. They become motivated to learn new things.

Learning a third language may also be good for your health. In a published study in the journal Psychology and Aging, Dr. Gitit Kave, a clinical neuro-psychologist from the Herczeg Institute on Aging at Tel Aviv University, together with her colleagues Nitza Eyal, Aviva Shorek, and Jiska Cohen-Manfield, discovered that senior citizens who speak more languages test for better cognitive functioning. "In my professional opinion, learning a new language can only do good things. Learning other languages is good for you at any age. It allows for a flexibility of thought and a channel for understanding another culture better, as well as your own," says Dr. Kave.

There are many benefits to learning a third language. Because language is the principal communication tool, the more languages one learns the more valuable they become in terms of their career. Professionals with several languages are more likely to travel for their work. The UN report on language policies in the 21st century states that 'you buy in any language but you sell in the language of the client.'

Mastering a third language will improve opportunities in such as areas as government, business, health care, law enforcement, teaching, technology, the military, social services, and many other industries. Obtaining a third language will open up many new doors to success.

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