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The Importance of Learning a Second Language

            The United States of America is a great country because it strives in giving its citizens many opportunities. However, there is one aspect of American life that is clearly underdeveloped and lacking: language. When compared to many other countries, America is far behind on language skills, especially knowledge of a second language. The fact that only a small number of Americans know a second language presents many current and future problems for the country. Many scholars believe that Americans should learn a second language because it could give them an abundance of opportunity. .
             In a declining economy that is facing much competition from other countries, it would be beneficial for a job seeker to understand a second language. Also, there are many other advantages to learning a language, such as having an upper-hand on understanding another culture. On the other hand, some critics do not believe it is feasible for citizens to learn a second language and cite financial and time constraint issues. The argument falls apart, however, when one simply looks at the facts and research concerning the advantages of learning another language at a young age. American students should be required to learn a second language from an early age because it helps with cognitive skills, positively impacts foreign affairs and provides a better chance at achieving a higher income job. .
             Knowledge of a second language greatly improves cognitive skills. Therese Sullivan Caccavale, president of the National Network for Early Language Learning, states: "Children who learn a foreign language beginning in early childhood demonstrate certain cognitive advantages over children who do not." Additionally she says that students who are learning a second language outperform students who are not, both in verbal and mathematics scores on standardized testing. Essentially, knowledge of a secondary language boosts a person's potential in a variety of areas.

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