In order to become a rightful member of today’s increasingly globalized society, a person must know at least one foreign language. Not only is it a useful skill to have in case you want to have a chat with a friendly foreigner, but in most cases, it has become an essential requirement for those who want to continue their studies either at home or abroad; or want to advance in their career.
For this reason, foreign languages are taught as a subject in almost all schools around the world, and Singapore is no exception.
Parents pay hundreds of dollars a year to private tutors to improve their child’s knowledge of a foreign language. But with so many options to choose from, you may be wondering which foreign language is the most beneficial for your child?
Children are already under a lot of pressure to do their best at school, and the last thing you want is to waste your child’s time by teaching them the foreign language which will be of little use to them in the future. You want to invest your time and money into the language which will provide them with many different opportunities and open a lot of doors for them.
We have compiled a list of the top five foreign languages that will bring the most benefit to the child, so if you want to find out what they are, keep on reading.
The benefits of learning a foreign language.
Before I tell you about the specific languages, let me present to you the benefits of knowing a foreign language in general. Firstly, the studies indicate that learning foreign languages helps develop a child’s brain. In general, children who know more than one language have better problem-solving skills, and they are more logical.
In addition, knowing a foreign language allows you to access a foreign culture. Learning foreign languages helps our society understand foreign people better and avoid cultural conflict. Moreover, learning foreign languages helps us ward off various mental health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
And last but not least, knowing a foreign language increases your chances of having a more successful career.
Since English is a mandatory subject in Singaporean schools, we will not include it in our list of foreign languages. So without further ado, let us discuss the 5 languages that we will bring the most benefit to your child.
Like English, Spanish is spoken in many different parts of the world, and if you are already fluent in English, you will not find Spanish vocabulary that difficult to master. Because Spanish is a language that is derived from Latin, and since English has borrowed a lot of words from Latin, many words in English and Spanish sound quite similar.
Also, Spanish belongs to a family of languages called Romance Languages. It is very closely related to Italian, Portuguese, and French, so once your child has mastered Spanish, it will be easy for them to learn one of these three languages.
Spanish has always been rather popular as a foreign language among students, and as a result of that, there is a lot of learning material to choose from (by which I mean both textbooks and online courses). Spanish is also one of the foreign languages offered in the IB syllabus in Singapore interntional schools.
French is one of the most popular languages around the world, and it will open up a lot of doors for your child, especially if they are planning to become a diplomat on work in international organizations such as United Nations or UNESCO, for example.
Knowing English well makes studying French easier because English has borrowed thousands of words from the French language throughout its history. Also, university education in France is rather inexpensive and provides a prestigious, internationally recognized diploma. Consult one of our French tutors if you wish to put your child into this educational route.
German has been gaining popularity among foreign language learners, and it is largely due to Germany's strong economy and its reputation as one of the most developed nations in the world. University education in Germany is of the highest quality, and it is virtually free at all three stages (Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D.) to both domestic and foreign students.
Germany is also a great place for those who are seeking better job opportunities. These and many other factors make German a worthy member of our “beneficial language club.” Locally, there is GESS international school Singapore which provides IB or German curriculum to students from 2 years to 18 years old.
Approximately 300 million people in the world speak Arabic. It is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, so learning it will provide your child with access to the Arabic society. Not only is it a good language to know if you like traveling to exotic places and exploring cultures which are quite different from your own, but it is also beneficial from a business point of you.
As Arabic countries continue to strengthen their economies, there are many business opportunities to be had for those foreigners who speak this language. Arabic is also one of the official languages in many international organizations, so it is beneficial if you plan to have a career in diplomacy or foreign relations.
Japan has one of the strongest economies in the world, so learning Japanese is definitely beneficial if you are planning to hunt for a job in this country. Another major benefit of knowing Japanese is that employers in the IT industry in Singapore are actively seeking out employees who speak this language.
The Singaporean government is investing heavily in the technological development of Singapore, so knowing Japanese will help you stand out from the crowd if you plan to be involved in the IT industry.
You can enrol your child in the Japanese School in Singapore which caters mainly to the Japanese population and those with a keen interest to immerse themselves in Japanese culture.
Which foreign language is the most beneficial for your child depends mainly on their goal in life.
In general, however it is best to make an effort to master at least one language because learning a foreign language improves your cognitive function, helps you advance your career, and also makes you an interesting person to talk to at a party!