By Djenaba Dioum Kelly
It is estimated that over two-thirds of the world’s population speaks more than one language. Although the numbers are trending upward, the United States remains the exception, where only about 20% of the total population speaks a language other than English at home. American culture, for the most part, still demands conformity. Because we pride ourselves on being a melting pot, we discourage those who come here from elsewhere in the world from outwardly expressing their native culture. Instead of embracing diversity, we deny it.
Bilingualism can help us in better connecting to the rest of the world, literally and figuratively. Diversity brings new ideas; conformity does not.
In addition, learning another language offers several neurological and psychosocial benefits that could have positive implications for our group consciousness.
Not that long ago, psychologists considered bilingualism a disadvantage. They believed children burdened with thinking in more than one language risked developmental…
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