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Katrina Ocampo

22

10-Patience

July 23
Closing Government

This house believes that the educational curriculum should include the study of a foreign language
in the 11th and 12th grade.
To have another language is to possess a second soul. -Charlemagne
Good afternoon, dear students. Based on what my other fellow debaters have stated, there are
numerous advantages of studying a foreign language. Another great advantage of learning a foreign
language at our age is that it enhances the mind and intellect of a person. According to the article by
Dan Roitman called How Bilingualism Boosts Your Brain, parts of the brain that are devoted to
memory and reasoning are larger in bilinguals than in monolinguals. According to that article, they
are also better at focusing on two tasks at once. That means that people who have learned two
languages are better in intellect and memorization. In a research conducted by the Swedish
Academy, a group of young people were gathered to study either Arabic, Dari or Russian in a span
of 13 months. They have also gather another set of young people who were used as a control to the
experiment. When they tested the two groups, they have found that the control groups brain
structure remained unchanged while the other group, who studied a foreign language, had parts of
their brain increase in size. They found the growth of the hippocampus also known as the part of the
brain that is responsible for the development of knowledge and long term memory. Educators often
compare the brain to a muscle so since learning a languages involves memorizing its rules and
vocabulary, it helps strengthen the mental muscle. Speaking of memory, learning another language
can also be beneficial health-wise. According to an article in www.telegraph.co.uk, bilinguals can
avoid illnesses like Alzheimers and dementia because our memory skills improve when we learn
another language. Several studies have been conducted on this topic, and the results show that in
monolingual adults, the average age in which the first sign of dementia appears is at age 71 while
bilingual adults show signs at age 76. According to new.psu.edu or the PennState website, bilinguals
are skilled in mental juggling which means that when bilinguals speak with each other, they can
easily slip in and out of both their languages so that they can clearly express their thoughts. Mental
juggling also indicates multi-tasking skills that can be a great benefit for all of us especially in
school. Learning a foreign language is better done at a young age because children are able to grasp
the concept and reap the benefits much earlier than adults can. So we, as Icans, are lucky to be able
to study Mandarin Chinese at such a young age and because of this, we are more advantageous than
the rest of the monolinguals. Our brain capacity has much wider range and in the long haul, not only

will we be smarter, but we will also stand against Alzheimers and dementia. Bilinguals will be
living out the benefits and they will also keep the brain as healthy as they can for the rest of their
lives.
Therefore, we can conclude that it is beyond beneficial for young students to learn another
language. We should be able to realize the blessing that is right in front of us instead of perceiving it
as a useless subject. Change your perspective, take the blessing and live out the advantages.