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2017-09-11 17:34
By Kwon Bong-woon



Language is the principal means with which we conduct our social lives. Used in the context of communication, it binds humans together in multiple, complex ways. The world today is a global village, in which we and our activities are strongly interconnected.

More people now speak English as a second language than as a first language, or a mother tongue. In fact, English is now the world’s most widely spoken second language, and widely accepted medium of communication all over the world. Given this trend, there are compelling reasons for people to learn English as a second language.

I agree with the argument that one of the merits of English as a second language is it enables us to express things or concepts that might be difficult to do so in a first language. The ability to speak a foreign language is an important skill — it cultivates your mind, fulfills your soul and develops your knowledge, competence, tolerance, understanding and patience. The process of acquiring a second language also improves your fluency in your native language, as it teaches you the mechanics and structure behind any language, not just the new language you are learning. Using two languages exercises your brain and boosts your concentration and problem-solving skills.

I learned English simply because I loved to do it, but also because the process was a way for me to learn how people interact and socialize with each other and how each society works. Learning a second language has been shown to delay the onset of dementia, and learning a new language and culture increases the size of our selection and pool. It enables us to gain a more profound understanding of the nature of the human mind and spirit. English is the gateway to a new world of knowledge, commerce and culture, a world that people would not otherwise be able to access with fluency only in one’s a mother tongue.

Those who are bilingual have also been shown to be more logical, rational and better at decision making. Much of the world’s information is conveyed in English, providing another reason for the popularity of learning English as a second language. Bilingualism is increasingly becoming a necessary skill for anyone who wants to keep up with today’s rapidly globalizing economy. I believe in the fundamental value of English as an amazing tool for accessing the world’s information resource, including different perspectives and insights. Among the many pursuits in life, acquiring English as a second language helps people care about their health, particularly as an anti-aging measure. Competent communication abilities refer to both the tacit knowledge of a language and the ability to use it effectively.

If you could spend a couple of hours a day discussing current events and important issues with people who are fluent in English, you will surely improve your fluency in English. I am deeply thankful for having learned the English language, which made it possible for my mind’s eye to read the world.

 

The writer lives in Dongjak-gu in Seoul. He can be reached at kbw8234664@naver.com.

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