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Why Learning a New Language Improves Tolerance - Middlebury Language Schools

Learning a new language has its benefits. One of the biggest advantages of being bilingual is that your tolerance is improved and you are more open to interaction and exploring different cultures.

At Middlebury Language Schools, we encourage students to perceive their language learning journey as a gateway to cross-cultural understanding, comfortability with the unknown, and tolerance.

In this article, we will explore how learning new languages can improve tolerance and what are the benefits of knowing more than one language in the globalized world.

How learning a new language makes you more tolerant

Let’s have a look at the few ways learning a new language can improve tolerance:

  • It helps you gain cross-cultural understanding;
  • It makes you more comfortable with the unknown;
  • It’s an amazing tool for your traveling adventures;
  • It brings you more employment opportunities.

Cross-cultural understanding

When learning a new language, you can acquire knowledge about a new culture. You are more open to other ways of doing things and other traditions. 

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to live without this skill, as you will find yourself communicating with people from different countries more often. 

When you are immersed in a language, you automatically get immersed in the culture as well.

At Middlebury Language Schools, for example, you are not only participating in classes, but also immersing yourself in the culture of that specific language or country. You will explore topics related to your everyday life and learn how to live and speak in that language.

Comfortability with the unknown

The unknown is scary for most of us. Unfamiliar situations make us uncomfortable and we ultimately end up avoiding situations that would otherwise be beneficial for us.

Learning a new language helps with avoiding the unknown. Language learning improves people’s tolerance to the unknown and ambiguity and that is true for people knowing more than two languages. 

One good example of this situation would be avoiding relationships with people from other countries or cultures. The unknown we find ourselves into when communicating in another language prevents us from nourishing those relationships. 

People with a higher level of tolerance would have no problem picking up the dictionary and learning as they go.

Traveling becomes more enjoyable

Traveling is fun, and we all love it. 

However, traveling by yourself or with people of the same culture can often lead to a limited experience. How amazing would it be to leave your map aside and start communicating with locals?

This is closely related to what we spoke about earlier. Knowing a second language and using it in your travel adventures opens up the opportunity to immerse yourself and learn more about other cultures. 

Direct impact on employment opportunities

Being able to speak and read in a second language makes you more employable. 

The career advantages of being bilingual are infinite. Through a vast cultural understanding, you are not only able to be more tolerant, but also more communicative when you need to create professional relationships.

At Middlebury Language Schools, employers from different industries recruit our students and host information sessions throughout the summer. Our students are in great demand.

How does learning a language help in establishing intercultural connections?

It is harder to have a connection with other people from different cultures if you don’t know how to speak their language.

Establishing and maintaining intercultural connections require communicating with people directly and understanding their way of living. 

People of different cultures and nationalities have different reactions and views over the world around us. Besides needing to understand them, you also need to speak their language without doing it robotically.

To establish an intercultural connection between yourself and other people, you will not only need to enroll in language learning courses, but also immerse yourself in different cultures.

At Middlebury Language Schools, we offer immersion programs on campus. This summer we will be online for 2020. Students will commit to be in the language as much as possible through a modified Language Pledge.