Non-Linguistic Benefits of Learning a Second Language
Recent Research and Implications for Eduators and Governments
This paper analyses recent research findings which reveal some non-linguistic benefits children acquire by learning a second language. And, it is argued that such benefit not only benefit children and their families, but contribute to the social wellbeing of communities and nations. Among the benefits that are described in this paper are: benefits that aid learning in general, executive functioning, memory retrieval skills, and high levels of empathy - concern for others. A key recommendation is that second language learning opportunities should be expanded to include children even in remote areas of the member countries of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Even a minimal level of competency in either English or Chinese, should be a policy objective of their Ministries of Education.