You, as a student, have the ability to enhance your education with a second language. Dual Language Education programs encourage students to develop high levels of speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills in languages other than English. Adding a language to your studies is beneficial if you are a student who is already enrolled in a pathway, a student who has participated in an immersion program earlier in their education, or speaks a language at home. The Dual Language Programs that Delaware Public and Charter Schools offer have many benefits both inside and outside of the workforce, so let’s look at them in greater detail.
5 Benefits of A Dual Language Education
1. Improved Communication and Social Skills
To begin, learning a new language improves your communication skills and helps you, as a student, understand how language works. It allows you to communicate across cultures and gain access to a network of people that you may have not been able to speak to before. Communication is also key to developing a professional social network as a future worker, so having a dual language education gives you a leg up.
Communication does not always have to be verbal. For example, you have the opportunity to enhance your current pathway program by learning American Sign Language (ASL). ASL allows you to communicate with people who are hard of hearing and deaf. ASL can be beneficial in occupations like Biomedical Science, Early Childhood Teacher, K-12 Teacher, and Allied Health. For more information about American Sign Language click here.
2. Cultural Immersion and Appreciation
Students who immerse themselves in a dual language education program have the opportunity to become more culturally aware. It can expose you to other cultures outside of your own giving you a deeper understanding of cultures which may be new to you. Students can become more empathetic about the world and different cultures within it. A dual language education can also give insight into societal norms, history and even local cuisine.
Enhance your pathway program with one of 16 different languages including Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Japanese, and more.
3. Increased Cognitive Development and Problem Solving Skills
Learning a second language increases your cognitive skills. Cognitive benefits of learning a dual language include improved working memory, increased attention, and increased problem solving abilities. These skills are beneficial not only to you as a student, but in your future career as well. When learning a second language you will challenge your brain when recognizing, finding meaning, and communicating in multiple languages.
4. Competitive Edge
A dual language education can be considered a competitive advantage on any job or college application because it distinguishes you from other applicants. Future employers continually search for diverse, dual language employees that can serve their diverse clients. Dual language skills will help you stand out and often boost you to the top of the applicant list.
By adding a language to your studies, you have an opportunity to gain this competitive edge. For example, by adding a language, such as German, you can gain an advantage in various industries and positions. The education you receive in the Nurse Assisting, Public & Community Health, and Business Information Management Pathways, to name a few, combined with your language classes make you a more appealing worker.
5. Increased Compensation and Opportunities
Benefits of a dual language education can go beyond academic performance and can be observed in the workforce. Studies show that dual language employees earn 5-20% more per hour than those who know one language. Language proficiency is a high-demand skill and therefore employers are willing to pay more to have dual language employees.
Being proficient in more than one language also opens the door to more opportunities, both within the United States and internationally. For example, companies who are expanding business globally need employees who can communicate with their global colleagues and customers. Exposure to different languages can help you gain future opportunities in the workforce. View a complete list of languages.
As you can see, a dual language education has many benefits to you both as a student and a future employee in the workforce. Connecting your language skills with your career can lead to a promising future, so learn more about the different language offerings today!