Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bilingualism has its benefits

Interesting article from the Globe and Mail this morning about the benefits of knowing both of Canada's official languages:

Bilingualism pays

As someone living in the ROC (Rest of Canada) I definitely have benefited from knowing both official languages.  I was hired for more than a few of my summer jobs growing up because I could speak both French and English.  Most of the comments posted on G&M articles I find pretty inane in general, but in the case of this article there is a point to be made about how being bilingual pays most often when working for the federal government.  I would agree that this is true, but there are multitudes of other jobs where it is beneficial to speak another language.

At least a few times each semester I do have this conversation/argument with my students.  Invariably there is a student in the class because their parents wanted them to take French, not because they have an interest in it.  So at least I have a bit more fodder for why they should stick with it!  (A second language is no longer required to graduate in BC, but is required for some universities as an entrance requirement to specific faculties).

Other than as a teacher, where have you used your second (third, fourth, fifth) language skills?  Is a second language required for graduation in your province/state?

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