For people to survive in this new era of modern globalisation, most people would take up a second language or in other words, becoming bilingual instead of monolingual. Bilingualism can be defined as the fact to be able to use two languages equally well while a monolingual person is a person who can only communicate using only one language (Cambridge Dictionary 2018). Today parents are sending their children to schools that provides multilingual education. Similarly, in Malaysia, there are schools across the country that provides education on various language such as English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and even Iban. Although being monolingual could help one to focus and improve on the language that he or she is currently using, bilingualism should be practiced as this can improves one’s mental state and being bilingual is crucial in the workplace. First and foremost, bilingualism is better than monolingualism as it improves one’s mental state. This is because focus and attention can be improved through practicing bilingualism.
Bilinguals would always be on alert for their brains are exercising all the time due to switching from one language to another on a daily basis. Bilingualism also contributes a lot in brain development. Based on studies conducted, a bilingual brain is proving to be more flexible and creative (Kluger 2013, p. 42).
In addition, Wallstrum (2009) states that parents, educators, and youths alike are in favour for dual language education due to a study which proves that children with bilingual education are proven to be academically, cognitively, verbally, intellectually, and social more advantaged compared to their monolingual peers. Furthermore, it is also said that bilingualism could protect one against dementia and other mental diseases. Some scholars also argue that bilingualism only delays the effect of dementia and other cognitive illness. Based on the research conducted by Ellen Bialystork and her research group, it was founded that the development of dementia among bilinguals was delayed up to about 4 years later compared to their monolingual counterparts (Bak 2016, p. 206).
Secondly, bilingualism is very important in the workplace. In this modern time, local businesses are trying to reach out to the world to expand their market to international customers. One of the steps they took to achieve this is by hiring employee capable of speaking more than one language or able to speak any foreign language. Currently, many businesses are recruiting bilinguals as employer view bilingual employees as valuable assets (Satter 2017, p.
7). Satter (2017, p.7) also states that a multilingual is better at making decisions which contributes to better business choices.
This shows that many companies value their bilingual employees. The chief operating officer and senior vice president of workforce talent solutions at the Northern Chamber of Commerce, Nancy Spivey, noticed a rise in number of employers demanding for bilingual talent for client interaction (Mckinney 2011). The increase of the request for bilingual employees is due to bilingual employees are said to have a better mental state. Satter (2017, p.7) states that, according to a study conducted by Penn State University, bilinguals are more capable in managing and prioritizing multiple projects and tasks. Aschaiek (2013, p.1) states that a research conducted by York University proves that bilinguals at their youths were found to be better at solving complications.
However, a few people believed that monolingualism is just as good as bilingualism for monolingualism could help one to focus and improve on the language that he or she is currently using for communication. Based on the results from an experiment conducted by Filipovic (2011), it is proven that English monolinguals speakers were able to lexicalize complicated events with better details and were better at recognizing previously encountered event compared to their bilingual counterparts. Nonetheless, it is obvious that this remark is weak because the study only supports English speaking monolinguals and not foreign language speaking monolinguals. The thing about being able to communicate with only one language could be seen as having to miss out the opportunities of obtaining quite a number of benefits of being bilingual or seen as having potential to reach to greater heights (Ellis 2006, p.
189). In other words, monolinguals are lacking out the various amount of human skills and potentials that their bilingual counterparts are developing as they got older. Similarly to what was stated by Aschaiek (2013, p.1) which is bilingualism helps in management control and improves mental functioning which controls cognitive activities such as focusing, outlining, multi-tasking, and memorizing. In conclusion, this essay had definitely proved that bilingualism is better than monolingualism for it is obvious that bilingualism is crucial in this era of globalization as bilingualism could help improve one’s mental state and also is very important in the workplace or for business purposes. Therefore, monolinguals should take up a second language that could be beneficial for them as it is obvious that this could help them improve themselves in many ways.