The Power of Knowledge

May 18, 2010
“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.

Join the Discussion

This article has 14 comments. Post your own now!

Chuch said...
May 31, 2010 at 3:14 pm
I´m agree with all the article. The best age to learn something is when you are a child. I learned many things when i was a kid.
Angie_Vega said...
May 31, 2010 at 12:19 pm


Your article is of utmost importance for people who want to grow as a person not just in a trip although you’re right when u said that it tuns on in a real pain cuz if you travel and don’t speak the language of the country, you may not enjoy the journey.

On the other hand, I believe in the power of skills that we had when we were young. I learned in a scientist program that the children from three to ten years old have an open mind to acquire the k... (more »)

Juan Carlos said...
May 31, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I agree with the author´s. The people need the knowledge to grow as a person. Speaking other languages help you to obtain better opportunities for work and study.


marifer said...
May 31, 2010 at 11:42 am
I liked very much this article, I agree  that knowing a second language is part of a good education, and also the world is more and international, therefore, it is important to be part of it. Knowing other languages and cultures is a priority nowdays.
Raky said...
May 31, 2010 at 10:25 am
Totally agree  ¡
ANNIE said...
May 31, 2010 at 10:18 am
Congratulations ¡¡¡¡
M&M's said...
May 31, 2010 at 10:14 am
It's truly agreat article. Unfortunately in Mexico private schools only teach students a second language early, it would be great if this also was implemented in public schools.
M&M's said...
May 31, 2010 at 10:10 am
It's a great article. Unfortunately private schools only teach students a second language early, it would be great if this also was implemented in publich schools.
Lizzie said...
May 31, 2010 at 10:06 am
Totally agree!  To learn another language since you are a child could help everyone (not only Americans) to obtain greater opportunities in life... Thank you for writing this kind of articles!
Lorena said...
May 31, 2010 at 9:52 am
I enjoyed reading this article. I quite agree with it. Learning other language it is not only useful in the life, it is also pleasant.
Abril said...
May 31, 2010 at 9:45 am
I think it is important to teach children to another culture through language to another thereby create more respect and openness mental.
AnaYazz said...
May 31, 2010 at 9:37 am
I agree regarding teaching children a foreign language at a young age helps them master it better. This is a interesting topic!!
Hilda said...
May 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Fully agree, the world is a smaller place due to  globalization. Knowing a foreign language gives the oportunity to obtain a broader view of it and helps to understand and learn from different cultures.


AMK79 said...
May 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm

 What a great article! Having learned armenian when I was a kid, and later having english as a second language, I can tell it's totally true! Thanks for sharing. 



Site Feedback