Go Further With Welsh

The advantages of bilingualism

Taking advantage of any opportunities to develop bilingual skills is important for your future employment prospects. 

Employer surveys show that there is a shortage of workers with Welsh Language Skills, especially within the Health and Social Care, Childcare and Public Services sectors. 

Here are some of the advantages of bilingual education:

TWO LANGUAGES – TWICE THE CHOICE 

Bilingualism can improve the opportunities and choices for your child. The accepted view internationally is that bilingualism has distinct advantages for everyone and in moving on to the workplace, you will have more choices because you have two languages. 

EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES 

International research shows that learners/students who speak two languages perform better in exams and assessments.  

EMPLOYMENT 

Due to new legislation and policies in Wales, there is an increasing demand for people who can work bilingually. Employers know that they need to employ workers who are confident in Welsh and English in order to provide the best possible services to their customers. 

On average, those who can work bilingually also earn a higher salary. 

COGNITIVE BENEFITS 

  • Research shows that understanding two languages to a high level can be beneficial for the brain. 
  • Creative thinking – a bilingual person has at least two words for everything and two different concepts. This means that a bilingual person may be able to think about things more flexibly. 
  • Sensitivity: bilingual people need to know which language to speak with whom and when. As a result, they may develop more sensitivity to the needs of listeners than people who speak only one language. 
  • Reading: bilingual people place more emphasis on the meaning of words rather than their sound. This can help with their reading. 

IDENTITY AND SOCIAL ADVANTAGES 

The Welsh language is unique to Wales. Everyone living in Wales can be proud of the language, even if they don't speak it themselves. The language belongs to everyone who lives here. There are social benefits of being able to speak two languages. You can be part of two cultures. With language comes a variety of idioms, sayings, history, poetry, literature, music and traditions. This can create a better understanding of different cultures and different ways of thinking and behaving. 

Remember – bilingualism is the norm in most countries in the world!  

It's essential that we have members of staff who can communicate
through the medium of Welsh to a high standard so that we can
ensure the best possible service for our customers" 

Alun Shurmer, Welsh Water.