Bilingualism Essay Example

Bilingualism is the ability to speak in two languages. In the era of globalization and constant movement of people from one country to another for study, work, and life, there is the need to master at least two languages to communicate effectively with people. English is currently dominant around the world, but this does not make it the exclusive language of communication in every context. Those who can speak at least two languages are in a better position to cope in various parts of the world. In this essay, I discuss the findings of an interview with a Chinese student pursuing his studies in the United States. His name is Feng aged 19 and majors in computer science. The first aspect of discussion entails the interviewee’s preparedness to manage cultural differences using the communication tool. The next aspect of discussion is the life experiences of the interviewee arising from his communication style. Despite the struggle with English language, my interviewee has met significant personal needs, attained good health, life, and vitality, is hopeful of excelling in his studies to work in leading computer tech companies, and is confident that his dream of succeeding in life someday is intact due to the newfound power to speak two languages.

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Being a Chinese is not easy in the modern world because fewer people speak the language while the government of China makes it the sole language of study, work, business, and social interactions. Feng came to the US not knowing much of English. He was forced to take English-as-a-second-language course to equip him with the basics of the English language at least for formal communication purposes. Although he would later learn the language gradually trough interactions with other students and friends, the course proved instrumental to positioning him in the society to make sense of his academics and social life. The process of learning English was hectic because Chinese language has no close semblance to English. Phonetics, alphabet, and writing style differed widely such that Feng had to learn English like a small baby practicing the language. However, Feng being a determined student overcame all the barriers to gain proficiency in English in less than two years.

Communication in two languages calls for favorable conditions preferably the use of easy vocabulary and appreciation of accent. Feng was concerned that some people laugh at his accent whenever he tries to speak in English because it does not come anywhere closer to how ideal English speakers should talk. Such situations make him upset but he does not overreact since there is always room for improvement. According to Feng, he would rather communicate with people that understand his variation in accent because a Chinese can never speak like an original Englishperson. On the other hand, Feng prefers communication using easy vocabulary instead of unnecessary jargons. He believes that effective communication should not be a portrayal of one’s mastery of the toughest terminologies in English or Chinese but the presentation of thought and information in the words that make quick sense to persons like him who struggle to learn a new language. For example, he used to be uncomfortable in one of the classes in which the professor constantly used deep English terms to the extent that he had to ask colleagues what the instructor meant if not consulting the dictionary.

Bilingualism largely meets a person’s needs if used appropriately under various contexts. Feng came to the US to study computer science but he could not achieve this goal without first learning English for communication. Now that he has mastered Basic English necessary for formal communication, Feng is happy that he will accomplish his bachelor’s degree successfully and become the computer expert he hoped to be since high school. Once he accomplishes his studies, Feng hopes to get a job in the US with bigger companies such as Google, Inc. This achievement will be a real testimony of self-actualization, which is the highest need in the hierarchy of needs. Feng also hopes to marry someone from the English speaking side so that he can be through a constant life process of learning the most widely spoken language around the world. At least, Feng is not the dumb person he used to be when he first landed on the US soil since he has transformed into a speaker capable of interacting with everyone in English quite confidently. This is a true manifestation of personal progress.

Taking a course such as computer science calls for language flexibility because technology is a global thing. For example, computers and smartphones are programmed in multiple languages recognized around the world so that users can choose what languages they love most and activate them as default. Feng acknowledges that a computer scientist must be flexible in language use to solve some of the most complex challenges in computer technology today while harnessing technology’s power to solve global problems more effectively. Luckily, for Feng, Chinese and English could become the most used languages in technology because experts and manufacturing processes happen in countries that speak these languages. Apple, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of smartphones and computers, has its manufacturing plants in China despite the company being incorporated in the US. Feng confirmed that it would be impossible for Chinese workers to understand the assemblage of the complex computer systems without being addressed in the language they readily understand. Most of the workers must also understand English properly so that they can participate in the manufacturing process more consciously. Similarly, Feng is prepared to expand his language catalogue so that he becomes internationally competent to work and research computer systems that make the world a better place.

Working as a computer scientist will certainly expand Feng’s potential due to his bilingual capability. As he admitted during the interview, Feng is a brilliant student and an A scorer for that matter. He is eyeing the first class honors and nothing less. Consequently, he hopes to find a job in highly ranked tech companies such with Google being on top of the list. Working with larger organizations will mean that Feng has numerous opportunities to travel around the world and experience life from different perspectives. He will also learn new languages in the process since there has to be effective communication in business. Indeed, the ability to speak two languages o more will strengthen Feng’s chances of landing jobs in top organizations in the computer technology industry. Companies today look for skills that go beyond mere educational achievement. In the long-term, however, Feng wants to start his own tech consultancy company to offer services to governments and institutions on the best ways to apply technology profitably and in ways that solve challenges easily. The area of consultancy depends heavily on language mastery because executive officers will be the clients in many cases. Feng must polish his English, Chinese, and any other languages he might learn in due course to survive as a global consultant.

Bilingualism is a source of good life, health, vitality and excellence. Good life comes in the form of one’s capability to survive in many parts of the world easily. It helps much to understand languages of different parts of the world because one can study, live and work there easily. For example, Feng has found life in the US quite easy today compared to his initial days. He feared coming to the US for the sole reason of language barrier but this is no more today. Bilingualism is also a health booster although not many people recognize it. According to Feng, some of life’s little things such as being able to listen to and understand news, ordering something from the shopkeeper, knowing what is happening around, and interacting with close people all depend on the power of language. He appreciated that the aspects are integral to health by avoiding boredom and loneliness in which case the mastery of two or more languages is the only solution to attaining some quality standard of health. Life should not be all about depending on other people for linguistic assistance or translations as if one is disabled. Besides, bilingualism is at the heart of vitality due to the confidence it bestows on a person’s life. Language is an everyday communication and interaction tool. Consequently, it power for survival, especially in a new country. Feng came to the US not with many people to call family and friends but language has enabled him to be the confident man he once was in China. Finally, bilingualism is important for excellence in academic and work dimensions. The problem is particularly grave for people who do not know the main language of instruction. For example, Feng faced challenges with studies initially because he was still learning English as a second language. Good grades come by preparing assignments in the proper language, which means that Feng must remember this every time he keeps an eye on the first class honors.

One’s value in life today largely depends on the ability to speak multiple languages more than it did previously. Feng had a dream since childhood that he would become a successful person in life someday. However, only education would help him to achieve the dream. He admired the high quality schools and facilities in the US and the manner in which people who went to the US had stories of success to tell when they came back to China. Consequently, Feng embarked on the journey to find his destiny in the US as soon as he finished his high school studies in China. The only obstacle for him was speaking the English language because he knew very little of it. When he finally learnt how to speak substantial English, Feng knew that he had to pay greater attention to his higher education in the US to reach his goal in life. He is confident that he has made mega strides in this regard.

Feng’s experience in the US has proven that bilingualism is a powerful tool in today’s society. Although English is the most widely spoken language around the world, it helps to know more than one’s mother language to survive today because life could take someone to a different country where a different language is spoken. Feng implores people to use simple vocabulary and accept each other’s accents because it is impossible to achieve a uniform accent around the world. Since he is a computer science student, Feng has bigger dream of working with multinational companies, which aspect calls for strength in bilingualism. He also appreciates that bilingualism is a reliable source of good life, health, vitality and excellence. Above all, he hopes that bilingualism remains a crucial pillar in his quest to become a successful person in life someday.

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