Advantages of being bilingual

In Carmarthenshire the aim is for every child to have the opportunity to leave school and be fluent in Welsh and English. More and more employers across the county and in Wales as a whole are keen to recruit staff able to work comfortably in both languages.

Bilingualism strengthens cognitive abilities - bilingual people tend to be more creative and flexible. They can be more open-minded, and they also find it easier to focus on a variety of tasks simultaneously. And being able to speak two languages helps in other ways too...

Education

  • Bilingual children tend to be more successful in education. They tend to perform better in tasks
  • Bilingual people find it easier to learn additional languages
  • Children in Welsh medium education do just as well, if not better, in English as children in English medium education

Evidence: Estyn Report - English in key stages 2 and 3 (.pdf) | Article in The Times 11.4.17

Career

  • Speaking two languages is an extra skill to put on your application form
  • Bilingual people earn an average of 11% more
  • Employers need bilingual workforces in Wales, because services need to be offered bilingually

Evidence: Welsh speakers 'more likely to get top qualifications and jobs'

Health

  • Research shows that that being bilingual delays the onset of Dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer

Evidence: Delaying the onset of Alzheimer disease | Bilingual people twice as likely to recover from a stroke

Life

  • Speaking two languages widens your horizons
  • Being able to speak Welsh gives you access to many aspects of Welsh culture, history and identity
  • Speaking Welsh can provide a key to a rich community life
  • Being able to speak Welsh gives you a strong sense of identity and belonging
  • Being able to switch from one language to the other with confidence gives the individual self-confidence and pride
  • Speaking many languages can make people more tolerant towards other cultures

Evidence: A report on The Advantages of Bilingualism in Welsh and English by Professor Colin Baker

Page updated on: 16/03/2018