Essay on The Power of Knowledge
“What should I eat? Everything sounds incredible!” I thought, looking at the menu of the Argentinean restaurant in Buenos Aires. Everything on the menu was described in Spanish. I could taste every dish as I read through it.
“Que quiere usted?” The waiter walked up to me and wondered what I wanted, his notebook and pencil in hand. “Milanesa napolitana con papas a la provenzal, por favor.” The breaded meat with parsley infused fries tempted me most. Reading that menu was easy to me, mainly because of the fact that I knew Spanish. If I hadn’t known, I would’ve missed out on a great tasting meal in a very popular restaurant. The lady at the table next to me was asking strangers around her to translate everything on the menu.
What a pain! It’s not just ordering food at a restaurant that people have trouble doing in foreign countries. Our world’s globalization is quickly increasing. Countries around the world are interacting more: culturally, ideologically, and everything in between. The US is getting left behind. About 60-75% of the world population knows more than one language, yet only 20% of Americans know a second language.
Thankfully, there is a way to fix that: learn a different language as a child. Teaching children a foreign language at a young age helps them master it better. Children will not only learn better communication skills but will also have a better school performance and learn excellent problem solving skills. It has been proven that when you know a second language, you do better on your SAT’s. Studies have also proven that if you learn as a child instead of as a teen, your pronunciation is better, you’re more clever and creative with words, and you can solve higher-complexity problems. Kids will also learn about different cultures and how to talk to different people.
They will learn more about spoken languages around the world, leading them to learn more about the countries where they are spoken. At a young age, they’re going to know so much about our world. Learning a language also benefits you when you’re older and begin to travel. Thousands of people travel overseas every year. An estimated 25.
1 million Americans will travel internationally this summer. They will visit a country’s cultures, monuments, and people. Most of them will have no idea how to speak that country’s language. It’s getting harder for people to interact in a foreign country. When they’re lost, they don’t know how to ask for help.
When they’re ordering at a restaurant, they don’t know how to order. When they’re shopping, they have no idea how to speak to a salesperson. The travelers who know how to speak a different language have a more meaningful experience. They can ask for directions if they’re lost; they can order food when they’re hungry, and they can interact easily with others. Learning a language won’t only benefit you when you are young. It will continue to enrich your life.
A study done by a group of Canadian researchers has proven that when people learn a language at a young age, the first symptoms for dementia come four years later than for people who don’t know a second language at all. Although it may be a hard thing to do, it will pay off in the long run. By teaching children a second language, they will be rewarded a life-long gift. It will also help America lead the world in education.