The following infographic, put together by http://www.earlychildhoodeducationzone.com/ represents data put together from a variety of American-based studies into the benefits and drawbacks of learning a second language in schools. It’s so often that while I’m teaching Japanese, I get the question from a student regarding the reason why we are learning a different language when they’re seemingly never going to use it. The hard truth is that it’s not just the language we are teaching in the language classroom, it’s so much more. How to be a global citizen, gaining a better understanding of English structure when compared to other languages, origins of things you may not realise have foreign origins and of course learning a second language exercises other parts of the brain not usually exercised in other ways.
Modern Australian life owes much to the Japanese culture, and Japanese way of life owes much to Australia in a relationship that has grown over the past few decades to the point that Japan is one of, if not the largest export partner Australia has. In return for our food goods, Japan exports culture. Things like Pokemon, companies like Nissan, Toyota, Honda and foods like sushi are household names in Australia while the Japanese revere ‘Aussie Beef’ and our wines. Other Japanese cultural references we see in day-to-day life in Australia include sumo, origami, karate and other martial arts. Japan and Australia share many sister relationships also, sister schools, radios, cities and special university relationships. Australia has over 99 sister cities in Japan, with Adelaide being a sister city to Himeji.
The following infographic goes into more scientific detail on why your child should learn a second language, and hopefully it lays to rest any qualms about your child taking the time out of their school week to study Japanese.
Why your kids should learn a second language