Officials seek bilingual officers for training school. This is the headline of an article I read this morning in my google news. They’re looking for Captains in the Air Force who have Spanish language skills to participate in the Inter-American Squadron Officer School. The program focuses on development of Latin American specialists within the military.
This is exactly the kind of thing that knowing another language can provide. Interaction with people in other countries. Of course just knowing another language in and of itself is not a guarantee that one would learn about another culture, but it gives one the opportunity to do so.
This is the part I don’t get about people who seem to be afraid of bilingualism. What harm is there in people knowing more than one language? There are a number of benefits I can think of, but there’s not much of a downside to it.
- Protection of cognitive functions in the aging process
- Reasoning skills
- Focus and attention
- Social benefits
I always think it’s so strange that our schools systematically annihilate children’s first language but then we want high school and college students to become fluent in other languages because it is good for us as a nation. Aghh!