Second language? More like second culture.

The problem I see with second language learning, as it is put, is that it is put as second language learning.

Often when monolinguals think of second language learning, and I'm talking about in NZ here (and also partly Japan, but Japan is better in this regard), they only see the financial benefits speaking a second language can get you. They see it in terms of an investment in time, for which they expect a return.

For someone who doesn't speak another language or have a deep enough understanding of another culture, it is easy to see why they would think this way. They are only thinking of language at the surface level, because that's all they see.

I'm going to put it straight. The return on your investment in learning a second language is worth more than all the money in the world.

The thing is, only those who have accomplished this can truly appreciate it for what it is.

It's a shame that monolinguals often have a big say in language policy, especially in NZ, and I am extremely grateful that there are more positive efforts to give Maori a much bigger role in NZ society.

When I visited Singapore about five years ago, I was well impressed with the multilingual announcements on the train, and I wondered how long it would take NZ to catch up. I have seen efforts to add Maori announcements to trains in NZ, which I wholeheartedly applaud.

Learning a second language does indeed give you practical benefits that can be used for your financial gain, but the real way to benefit from learning a second language is by learning a second culture.

Why? Because it gives you innumerous insights into human thinking. These innumerous insights lead to ideas, ideas that can change the world.

By simultaneously having an understanding of two or more human cultures, meaning multiple perspectives, you are much more exposed to opportunities to gain insights.

I am a firm believer that insights are what change the world, it is the one thing computers will never be able to do (at least I hope so). Plus, there are no original ideas, only ideas that are linked and then worked upon.

So, I propose that instead of calling it second language learning, we change it to second culture learning. Maybe then people will begin to understand that learning a second language isn't simply learning a second language.

ENJOYED THIS? HAVE MORE.

MOUNTAINS OF WISDOM

Subscribe to my yamabushi newsletter

RECENT BLOG POSTS

gray monk statue in between plant pots
You have to keep doing you
charming child sweeping concrete pavement with broomstick
You’re allowed a reset
high angle photo of person going down the stairs
The Next Step

YAMABUSHI BLOG POSTS

accomplishment action adult adventure
A citizen of the world
person holding a green plant
The Beauty of It
The aim in learning a language

RANDOM POSTS

light city landscape people
Be your own Andy Warhol
black and white book business close up
One easy way to improve your second language reading speed
Laughing to the grave
Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
Scroll to Top