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Why should you study a foreign language, literature, and culture?

Better Career Possibilities

With the globalization of the world’s economy and increased internationalization of companies, it’s no secret that a second or third language increases your career possibilities and your employability.

For more information, read: “The hottest Job skill is...”  CNN, October 30, 2013.

Cognitive Improvement

            Several studies have shown that learning and speaking foreign languages exercise the brain and make you smarter.  For instance, the College Board has documented how students who study foreign languages tend to do better on standardized tests.  Other studies have shown bilingual people to be smarter and to be more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease.   In fact, some areas of the brain grow when you learn a foreign language. 

For more information read:  “Why Bilinguals Are Smarter”  New York Times, March 17, 2012.
“Growth of Language-Related Brain Areas after Foreign Language Learning” NeuroImage, October 15, 2012

Reading literature can also make you smarter and a better person. See Annie Paul Murphy's Article in Time, June 3, 2013.

Improved Understanding of the World

            You cannot truly know and understand another culture without understanding its language.  Learning a foreign language is much more than simply learning different words for objects; it is also learning how other people perceive the world and their place within it.  

Improved Understanding of Yourself, Your Culture and Your Language.

            The best way to get to know your own language better is to learn a foreign language.  You will get a better handle on grammar and syntax in your own language and you will become more articulate.  Similarly, once you understand a foreign culture, you will be able to see your own culture with new eyes. 

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