Ellis Lee, Chief Executive of Maple leaf Kingsley International School, shares her insights into learning foreign languages, including Mandarin.

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Learning a foreign language can be a time-consuming but enjoyable experience for all ages. The easiest way for a person to become bilingual is to start at a very young age because a younger’s person brain absorbs the sounds and rules of a new language naturally, just as it is to learn a new language because we have to study grammar rules and work around our already developed first language.


The Benefits of Being Bilingual

A second language can also help when travelling. Vacations to foreign countries would be more enjoyable, and they open people’s minds to the different cultures of the world. Putting your knowledge of a language into practice is a dynamic process and is more immersive and interactive than simply learning it in a classroom. Developing an understanding of a new language while also using it in the real world allows your daily experiences to complement your academic learning. Bilingualism leads to many advantages in the long run, such as enabling the bilingual person to get into a good college or university and to have more career options.


A New Language Opens new Perspectives, Heighthens Cultural Awareness 

A large part of a nation’s culture is reflected in its language. Immersing in a country’s language can give one a more profound understanding of its culture. In a world where international relations are very important in terms of trade, business and politics, it is necessary to inspire mutual trust and understanding in order to better communicate, cooperate, and negotiate with one another. A new language opens you to new perspectives, heightens your awareness about another country and its culture, and even allows you to learn more about your own culture. 

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Foreign Language Proficiency Facilitates Business Worldwide 

Globalisation requires an understanding of worldwide businesses and cultures. Hence knowing a foreign language in business is also valuable. For example, someone who speaks Spanish has the advantage of being able to communicate with people from 21 different countries worldwide. International competition compels companies to seek out bilingual or multilingual employees, so knowing foreign languages, such as Mandarin, French, Arabic and Japanese can open you to careers you once may not have considered.

Studies have shown that the process of learning a new language can not only enhance one’s memory but also improve one’s creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. It also encourages greater open-mindedness about new people and ideas, a global mindset and respect for diversity.

Essentially, language is the basis of human life and how we communicate. It has evolved monumentally in the past centuries, and knowledge of more than one language can spark an appreciation of this accelerated advancement. This is why the knowledge of a foreign language is a powerful tool that can open you to a variety of new opportunities that you may never have imagined before.


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The Importance of Mandarin 

Mandarin is the national language of China and the most widely spoken language in the world. More than one billion of the world’s population are mandarin speakers. The Chinese already constitute one-fifth of the world population and are rapidly expanding their presence everywhere. Modern Standard Mandarin is the official language of the United Nations.

Learning Mandarin is more than learning a language. It enables an individual to explore one of the most ancient cultures of the world. It can become a lifelong involvement. Knowing the language will enable one to communicate better with Mandarin-speaking people and provide one with a better understanding of the Chinese and their culture. The Chinese population is rapidly expanding its online presence so Mandarin will become increasingly useful for online communication.

Mandarin is also an open door to a huge job market in all of the countries where Mandarin is the language of commerce such as mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore. Learning Mandarin today can prepare you for a better future. abundant opportunities for government and business carers as well as scientific and cultural exchanges await the student of Mandarin. The China market is blossoming after decades of global isolation. As China rapidly becomes a world economic power, opens its doors to foreign investment and expands its infrastructure, those who know Mandarin will be valuable to the business. In the past, foreigners learnt Mandarin because they were interested in the language and culture. Today, however, a person who is proficient in Mandarin has a better chance of getting a well-paid job.

In conclusion, Mandarin’s prominence in this increasingly globalised world has created a demand for students to equip themselves with the language in order to remain competitive. This will significantly improve their employability and proficiency in mandarin is likely to be a requirement for many jobs.