The Importance of Learning a Second Language

Singapore is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and people from all over come to this little red dot to holiday, work and even start a family. We live in a melting pot of cultures where multi-cultural respect and understanding is important, but there is also an increased need for us to maintain our cultural heritage.

Language is a substantial cultural component. It is the glue that brings communities together and helps us preserve our roots. Edward Sapir, an American anthropologist-linguist, widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the discipline of linguistics has said that language and “common speech serves as a peculiar potent symbol of the social solidarity of those who speak the language”.

Language can greatly shape one’s perspective on a particular culture. Aside from an expanded world view, some of the lifelong benefits for young learners include greater inter-cultural appreciation and sensitivity, the ability to learn additional languages more easily and a competitive edge in future careers.

This is why the Australian International Schools (AIS) offers comprehensive and intensive second language programs in Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia and French.

Language teachers at AIS are fully qualified and experienced in language teaching to aid students in learning a new language. For students whose first language is not English, they will also have the choice to learn other subject material in their mother tongue, supplementing this with intensive English classes, to provide them with a truly exploratory and effective world-class education at AIS.

Bernadette Ward-Daniels, Head of Languages Other Than English (LOTE) at AIS, “Our dynamic language programs help our students learn a new culture through learning another language, whilst benefitting from an international level of education without facing potentially inhibiting language barriers. The system we have is designed to teach not only a new language, but also to nurture and extend the capabilities of multi-lingual students.”

However, all this would come to naught if children do not feel comfortable learning. Providing adolescents with an encouraging environment is the key to success to language mastery. In order to be successful, students need to feel secure about taking risks, practicing what they have learnt and be part of a mutually beneficial community that promotes interactive learning.

According to Andrew Mowat, Director of Information and Communications Technology at AIS, “Children are most receptive to learning when they enter a zone of mindfulness. In my research around The Neuroscience of Engagement, I realize that when children are surrounded by a calm and positive environment, they become more engaged and take away more from the lesson.”

At AIS, classes are conducted based on respect, responsibility and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment.

To learn more about our school, you are welcome to visit during our upcoming AIS Open House Sessions:

Wednesday, 26 November- 9:30 am

Book a tour online, phone +65 6517 0247 or email admissions@ais.com.sg.