How does learning a foreign language help with cultural awareness?

Contrary to popular belief, learning a foreign language is not just about being able to speak it. It’s about understanding and experiencing another culture and society and thereby broadening one’s own view and view of the world.

Many aspiring language learners grossly underestimate what it means to be culturally aware. No matter how familiar you may be with your native culture, you cannot be fully aware of the world without an understanding of other cultures around the world, no matter how insignificant the country is and what it can add to global society as a whole . A nation’s words are one of the most powerful representations of its society; For example, coming across a word in a foreign language that has no direct translation into English reveals a whole new set of meanings that reveal what is considered important to speakers of that language.

Learning a language creates empathy in the student who is starting from scratch to learn an entirely different set of sounds; The learner must listen incredibly carefully to pronunciation and verbal cues, becoming a far better listener who often develops more patience with others. This all leads to better communication skills, along with opening lines of communication between learners and those who are fluent in the culture and language. A bond is formed between the culture and the learner, who feels welcome in other cultures and has the freedom to explore them.

But cultural awareness goes even deeper. In learning about a whole new culture, the learner explores what it means to be part of a distinctive culture, to speak the language and even what it means to be yourself.

In today’s increasingly globalized society, awareness of global affairs has become crucial. In order for companies to maximize their potential, they must not only be aware of the market situation in foreign countries, but also understand the deeper culture of the nations in order to be able to predict how the market will change in the near future. Negotiations between different countries require some kind of bond, and intercultural awareness should help achieve just that; Understanding the specific attitudes, approaches, and decision-making styles of people from another culture will undoubtedly make discussions so much easier and more fruitful.

Many of the jobs and careers on offer therefore have a multicultural or international aspect and many of the new positions that are becoming available are in this sector. Consequently, one of the advantages of learning a foreign language is that you will almost certainly have many more job opportunities available to you; it may even be what stands between you and a promotion.

Although various cultural awareness training programs are readily available, learning a foreign language is really the best way to acquire this skill. Understanding the language allows you to truly immerse yourself in the culture and experience so much more than just exploring the culture in English. Proficiency in the appropriate language allows you to read and listen to indigenous texts and truly connect with native speakers who are the best indication of what the culture is really about.

Thanks to Michael R Browne | #learning #foreign #language #cultural #awareness

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