The advantages of learning a Second Language in school

Deepika Sodhi
Jul 29, 2022
Language programmes

According to research, as much as 75% of the world's population can speak at least two languages. The second language in school could be a foreign language or the mother tongue in many cases. Learning a foreign language is always a strong advantage for anyone who wants to make a solid contribution in today’s global community.

Having a robust foundation in mother tongue is said to benefit students in numerous ways, including fostering essential skills such as critical thinking and literacy skills. Knowing multiple languages helps your child become more productive and successful in school and later in life.

Top five benefits of learning a Second Language

Among the many advantages to learning a second language, below are the key takeaways:

1. Enhanced memory

Learning a second language helps with brain development and memory enhancement. Memory is like a muscle that must be flexed and strengthened. Learning a second language helps students use their memory and recall in the most efficient way possible.

2. Improved communication skills

When learning a second language – a foreign language or the mother tongue in many cases – students get to learn reading, listening, writing and speaking the language. The knowledge of vocabulary, pronunciation, and right choice of words in the second language makes students better communicators, a skill that follows them from childhood into adulthood.

3. Awareness of new cultures

Learning a second language involves developing awareness of the culture that produced that language. Cultural awareness helps students become better global citizens; it also helps students learn empathy, kindness and appreciation for new ways of doing things.

4. Improved focus

Children who learn a second language enjoy improved focus. This helps them become better students, makes them more productive in the workplace and ensures greater success later in life.

5. More opportunities

Knowledge of languages is a common requirement for many jobs and can also be a requirement at certain schools around the world. Children who know how to speak a second language have more opportunities and will continue to enjoy those global employment opportunities throughout their lives. 

Second Language options at GIIS

Students at GIIS have the opportunity to learn a variety of second languages, including French, Mandarin, Spanish, Tamil, Hindi and English as a Second Language (ESL), under the Cambridge curriculum and later in IBDP.

French. French is offered at GIIS for kindergarten (K1-2), primary and secondary school students in IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), Cambridge Lower Secondary and higher secondary programmes (CLSP and IGCSE), IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), and Indian central board curriculum (CBSE).

Tamil/Hindi. Tamil/Hindi programmes are offered to students from kindergarten. The programmes support students as they develop their language skills for their mother tongue or as a second language skill.

Mandarin. Students have the option to learn Mandarin right from kindergarten (k1-2). It is also offered in the IB PYP and CLSP at GIIS. Primary students acquire oral and written skills over a five-year period. Students are also taught a deeper understanding of traditions and cultural perspectives in Mandarin-speaking communities.

Spanish (Ab Initio). For Spanish (Ab Initio) offered to IBDP students, no prior knowledge is required to opt for it. During lessons, students learn to appreciate Spanish culture while also learning how to read, write, listen and speak the language.

English. As part of the Cambridge curriculum, students in both lower and higher secondary schools (CLSP and IGCSE) have the option to opt for English as a second language (ESL) where they get weekly lessons and support. 

Also read: 5 ways GIIS helps students fall in love with a second language

Language options at GIIS by grade

Students at GIIS have the opportunity to choose one of these languages and study it for approximately 2.5 hours per week.

● Kindergarten choices: Hindi / Tamil/ French/ Mandarin

● IB PYP (1-5) choices: Hindi / French / Mandarin/Tamil

● CBSE (1-10) choices: Hindi / Tamil / French

● CLSP (6 – 8) choices: Hindi / Tamil / French / Mandarin

● IGCSE (9 - 10) choices: Hindi / Tamil / French/ Mandarin

● IBDP (11-12) choices: Hindi / Tamil / French / French ab initio / Spanish ab initio

CBSE (6-8) additional 3rd language choices: Hindi / Tamil / Sanskrit

Benefits of Language Programmes at GIIS

There are many benefits of learning a second language at GIIS. Our comprehensive programmes help students in:

● Enhancing their oral, reading and writing skills in a new language

● Increasing cultural awareness and appreciation

● Developing a global mindset

● Building opportunities for future in a global economy

At GIIS, we offer high-level support to students in their endeavours to learn a new language to ensure that our students are positioned to become productive global citizens. 

If you are keen to learn more about the language programmes at GIIS, please feel free to connect with our friendly admissions counsellors.

Deepika Sodhi

A highly motivated and dedicated educator with nearly 24 years of teaching experience, Ms. Deepika Sodhi is the Academic Supervisor for International Curricula at Global Indian International School (GIIS) SMART Campus, Singapore.

Ms. Sodhi has a rich experience of teaching Physics across curricula such as the IB, Cambridge IGCSE and CBSE. She has served as an Exam Officer for Cambridge Assessment International Education. Currently, she is an IB Assessment Officer, and a member of International Schools Network and International Baccalaureate Educator Network.

In her free time, Ms. Sodhi enjoys writing blogs, creating guiding material for training staff and community service.

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