The main goal of learning a new language is to be able to communicate in that language. The ERIC database’s thesaurus defines language proficiency as the capacity of a person to accurately and fluently communicate using language (Language Proficiency, 2004). While gaining this ability is a main reason for studying a foreign language, there are many other reasons why everyone should take the time to do so. Occupational, cultural and developmental benefits are some of the most prominent ones to be had. Occupational benefits are perhaps the most important and widely known ones associated with language learning. When a person speaks more than one language, they are usually highly valued by employers. Favor in an employer’s eyes can obviously lead to desirable promotions and salary increases for multilingual workers. A CNN writer reported, “When a manager decides whether to promote on of two people with identical technical skills, the better communicator is more likely to get the nod” (Hall, 2001). Companies, especially ones with international operations, like to have a staff that is able to interact with partners and associates in overseas markets, as well as multinational clients here at home in the United States. This allows them to create and maintain positive relationships and increase revenue. One authority affirms the nature of such companies by saying that many of the operations of international corporations occur on a on a truly global scale (Gutek, 1993, p. 233). For companies that do not have global operations, hiring a staff that is multilingual is sure to facilitate the creation of a profitable international department. Small businesses that sell foreign goods, as well as lar...
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...ison between English and non-English speaking countries. Retrieved September 28, 2004, from http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/freitas.html.
Freitas’ short report compares foreign language policy and education programs in various countries.
Hall, M. (2001, May 24). Business benefits of a second language. Retrieved November 16, 2004 from http://www.cnn.com/.
Hall describes many of the benefits of being linguistically competent in the business world.
Simon, P. (2001, October 23). Beef up the country's foreign language skills. Retrieved September 28, 2004, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/.
Simon tells about the current lack of foreign language competent officials in essential government national security positions.
Starr, L. (2002). Habla espanol? Do you speak Spanish? Retrieved Nov 14, 2004, from http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr398.shtml/.
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