It's no surprise to parents of college students that their children's vocabulary and vernacular grow at college.
Nicknames for fraternities and sororities, local slang and even jargon from coursework start to pepper conversations. But for a growing number of students, their communication also grows via a foreign language.
According to the Modern Language Association, undergraduate enrollment in foreign-language classes has grown 6.6 percent from 2006-2009 and was at an all-time high in 2009, even though only half of the nation's colleges require it, as opposed to two-thirds 50 years ago.
The following benefits might affect your student, if he is considering minoring or majoring in a foreign language.
Cultural appreciation: In addition to learning vocabulary and sentence structure, foreign language at the college level includes rich literature, cultural study and culinary appreciation, among others. This will allow your student to expand his worldview, as well as appreciate his own culture's and family's traditions.
Job opportunities: A bilingual job candidate stands above competition that speaks only one language. Especially if the second language is spoken by clients or in the community, the potential employer may not only value but require a proficient knowledge of the language.
Study abroad: For foreign language students, the best way to learn is through immersion. Language fluency usually happens when students are surrounded by other speakers and forced to speak themselves. With a good foundation of language courses, your student can be confident visiting or studying in a country that speaks that language.
For students who minor in a foreign language, the knowledge will enhance their primary field of work once they graduate. Students who major in a foreign language or pursue graduate degrees in a foreign language may have a wide variety of potential jobs upon graduation. The following possible jobs include a general base salary (which varies greatly with location), according to salary.com.