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My Perspective on Learning New Languages
Written by Hanseung Cho | Published. 2019.10.15 14:09 | Count : 1343

With cultural globalization and the internet being accessible to a large part of the world today, communication between people of different cultures and societies has become ubiquitous, leading people to want to learn more languages. As of 2018, according to ilanguages.org, 43 percent of the world’s population consists of bilinguals and 13 percent of trilinguals. There is no question that being able to speak a language other than your mother tongue fluently is essential to being a global citizen, and many people are now taking classes or hiring tutors to learn new languages.

With so many people looking to learn a new language, now the focus isn’t on learning a new language, but learning a language that will benefit you in different aspects of your life or career in the future. Therefore, many new languages are on the rise, especially for students and young adults looking to use their linguistic ability to gain leverage over other competitors into earning a spot in a top college or job opportunity. And like many other schools, Seoul Foreign School is also offering a wide variety of world language classes and at many different levels. 

[A pile of language books in a library. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay]

As for me in the past few years, I have decided to pursue the route of learning standard Chinese, a language which is estimated to be spoken by 850 million people around the world in countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong, and obviously China. I moved from South Korea to China before the start of my first year in elementary school and stayed there until the end of my first year in middle school, which ultimately led me to learning standard Chinese. And because the students in my school were required to take a world language class, I had no choice but to start learning Chinese. 

When I first started learning Chinese, my approach and attitude towards learning the language was much more different compared to my approach and attitude today. In the first few years of learning Chinese, it was mostly a period of getting to know the language more in terms of the basics, and trying to see if learning the language was actually something I somewhat enjoyed doing. And after bouncing between Spanish and Chinese during the transition from elementary to middle school, I decided that Chinese was going to be my third language. But, this time, I determined to learn the language to the highest level possible. I wanted to speak it as fluently as I could speak English and Korean. So I enrolled in Chinese classes at school and signed up for an extracurricular Chinese tutor. 

[Taiwan 10 Anniversary Conference Manage classroom. Photo Courtesy: Kokuyo]

All in all, I feel that too many people are caught up in the idea of learning a language only for it to benefit our lives in our academics or our careers. Although this is an obvious aspect you must consider before learning a new language, I feel that nothing is more important than your passion when it comes to deciding what language you want to learn. Regardless, I strongly recommend learning a new language. Just imagine the fun of speaking multiple languages in this world of cultural globalization.  





Hanseung Cho
Grade 10
Seoul Foreign School

Hanseung Cho  student_reporter@dherald.com

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