Why World Languages?

Health Care

As a medical student or job candidate, you will enter the healthcare sector armed with a variety of tools and personal qualities gleaned over the course of your education—from cutting-edge clinical experience to carefully honed social skills—all to set you apart from the competition and best prepare you to help those in need. As you prepare to join the health workforce, remember that alongside organic chemistry and a healthy dose of empathy, a second language will be an essential component of your career toolkit.

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Cognitive Development

Although the last decades of bilingualism research have demonstrated consistent differences between monolingual and bilingual children in cognitive, language and brain development, it is still common procedure to use normative data from monolingual children to provide neuropsychological assessment for bilingual children. Given that neuropsychological tests can be used for the purposes of classifying children, providing diagnosis or treatment, it is important to get the measurement right and consider the factors that might impact performance, such as the experience of speaking two languages.

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Learning Language and Culture

At Gymglish, we’re convinced that learning a language isn’t just learning a list of words or a set of rules. Studying linguistics and theory is only one piece of the puzzle. We believe that tying language to a context, whether it be experiential or narrative, is the cornerstone of mastering it.

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OECD Education and Skills

Both the United Nations and OECD have prioritized global citizenship and global competence education in recent years, with good reason. Globally competent individuals are aware, curious, and interested in learning about the world and how it works, beyond their immediate environment. They recognize the perspectives and worldviews of others and are able to interact and communicate with people across cultures and regions in appropriate ways. And most critically, globally competent individuals don’t just understand the world (which is no small thing in and of itself)—they are an active part of it. They can and do take action to solve problems big and small to improve our collective well-being.

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Linguistic Diversity

From the time Gonzalez was in kindergarten until she graduated from Boyden-Hull High School in Hull in 2020, her classmates from Spanish-speaking homes doubled in number from five to 10, reflecting a broad demographic shift that has been reshaping communities across N'West Iowa.

That shift has brought growing linguistic diversity to the region and, with it, a growing need for interpreting and translating services - in schools and daycares, in clinics and hospitals and in courtrooms and attorney's offices.

To help meet that need, Gonzalez is pursuing interpreting as a career. She recently completed her second year in the Spanish-English translation and interpretation program at Northwestern College in Orange City, and she plans to become a certified medical interpreter.

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Language Proficiency in STEM

A 2019 survey of 1,200 employers by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages points to the growing impact that language skills have on the labor market and economy. In fields ranging from construction and manufacturing to professional and technical services, one in four companies reported losing business due to a lack of language skills, and 56% of employers suggested that demand for foreign languages will increase in the next five years.

Notably, these language barriers are not confined to businesses explicitly engaged in international commerce, since nearly half of these employers needed language skills strictly for the domestic market. Being one of the only people in the workplace with proficiency in Spanish (or German, or French, or Chinese) when that email needs to be sent to clients or that new market needs to be researched adds value beyond an employee's technical skills.

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