According to the New South Wales Department of Education in Australia, learning another language from a young age develops an understanding and respect for other cultures, people, their ideas and ways of thinking. Future career opportunities will be greater in an increasingly globalized market, and global connections are enriched.
Globalisation is a phenomenon that have caused severe changes to the world we live in. One of the platforms globalisation have had the most impact on is education. As a result of globalisation, education is undergoing constant changes. It brings rapid developments within the educational systems around the world, as different knowledge, ideas and values emerge into one another and produces a shift in society. Globalisation reflects an effect on culture that brings a new form of cultural imperialism, shaping children into ‘global citizens’ of the world.
Many developing countries experience a growth in their educational systems that are available to them due to the entry of institutions from the “West”. Some people call this Western imperialism, and worry that the influence of western culture and educational tools will damage developing countries identity and character. People around the world are now more connected with each other than ever before. Therefore, the need for understanding and interaction between human societies are now more reachable, and valuable than earlier expected. Education in this new global society has a greater responsibility to incorporate global knowledge, and be able to reach the standards of todays expected educational levels on an international scale. Changes within education builds the ground for emerging variations of values and attitudes towards the rest of the world.
Herbie Hancock said that: “Globalisation means we have to re-examine some of our ideas, and look at ideas from other cultures, and open ourselves to them.”
Back home in Norway, every child from the age of nine learn English in school, in addition to more insightful knowledge about our native language, Norwegian. Later, in Middle School, every adolescent have the option to learn one or two of three languages: French, German and Spanish. It is a requirement for every young adult, that by the time they graduate High School, they will be able to fluently communicate in English, and have some knowledge and understanding of one of the three other languages. This was not a requirement when my Grandfather went to school 80 years ago. However, through the influence of globalisation, the educational system in Norway are able to not only teach students several other languages, but also provide profound knowledge about the culture and history behind those languages.
Studies have shown that children with better language skills, in any language, are more likely to develop their brain better, have better communicational skills and better prepared for life in the ‘real world’.
How many languages do you speak?
Here’s a funny video of things bilingual people do: