10 reasons to learn a foreign language!
The need to learn one or more foreign languages is becoming more and more imperative.
No one disputes their usefulness but few are those who fully understand their value in the modern world. What are the reasons why one should learn (one or more) foreign languages?
Learning a foreign language increases global comprehension
We live in an era where multiculturalism is a fact. Globalization, telecommunications and public transport have bridged the gaps between people from different cultures who at first glance seem incompatible with each other. Learning a language gives us the opportunity to get to know the mentality of the people, the manners and customs of a place. Italian director Federico Fellini once said: "A different language is a different perspective on life." Understanding diversity can resolve disputes and ensure world peace.
It broadens your horizons and you become independent
By fully grasping a foreign language you can read books, newspapers, blogs, listen to music, watch TV programs in other languages. This will in turn help you see what is happening around you from different perspectives, and thus will be more comprehensively informed, without falling in the traps of ‘fake news’.
You can travel around the world
Traveling to other countries is in itself a magical experience that can be unforgettable if you know the language of the place you are visiting.
Professional development opportunities
In today's job market, a multilingual worker is an irreplaceable multi-tool. Knowledge of foreign languages proves to your employer that you have more qualifications, that you can learn easily, that you have a variety of interests, that you are generally an open-minded and versatile person.
You can study and work abroad
More and more young people are choosing to study or specialize abroad for a number of reasons. The doors of universities are open to anyone who is fluent in a foreign language. But employers do not hesitate to hire people who know the language of their business partners as communication is then more personal and direct.
You can make new friends from all over the world
Knowing a foreign language allows you to converse with other people but also to accept them more easily. Whether you like traveling, or prefer to meet new people in Switzerland, a foreign language can help you significantly. And I do not think anyone would question the value of friendship.
A foreign language can be used as a communication code between you and your friends or relatives to say things in public that you do not want others to understand. The U.S. military used Navajo and Cheyenne Native Americans as radio operators during World War II to prevent eavesdropping.
You benefit from more "small pleasures of life"
A friend who studied in Italy can make you the most beautiful pizza or pasta you have ever tasted or prepare a special Freddo for you. He can also lend you records with Italian music. The same can be repeated with hot croissants, French coffee or wine and Edith Piaf. Small pleasures that make our life more beautiful.
Because you love to learn
Learning is very makes us feel good and has no age limit. To many of us it may sound strange but it is fun to learn. YES. Think about how well you are doing at each lesson, benchmarking your progress with how you first began learning something new. Even if you look back to how many new friends made, how much fun you have together, how many new things do you learned outside the core subject.
You become a better person
Learning a foreign language makes you a more open-minded person. You appreciate others, you get to know different people, their manners and customs, and you have fun in the process.
For all of the reasons above and many more, learning one or more foreign languages is an important part of life.
As a working mom of three children near Zurich, my time to learn is very limited, and while learning the local language of my region is important, it must be optimised.
I currently participate in the B1 German class twice a week at Wordculture in Zurich, and attending these classes has become my self-care time. Getting ready for a class in the morning powers me up to get all children out of the house on time, dress-up in clothes that are not athleisure wear and prepare myself to see people related to my personal growth and ongoing education.
When all this works like clockwork I am on time, vigilant and alert in class. However, plans are made to change and routines can be intercepted when small children are in the picture. It happens on occasions that one of my children is unwell and has to stay home from school, especially during these times of Covid where a small cold can be very alarming.
Fortunately, in this case I don’t need to miss my lessons because I can zoom into the live class from home.
Through this hybrid system, online and on-site, in which students and teachers can attend the live class online, or switch it to distant learning completely, I did not need to skip a beat in the course, despite life’s currents trying to pull me away.
I must also give credit to our teacher Patrick who is patient, knowledgeable and very flexible in organizing an online link last minute, as well as my class mates who are also moms and understand how unpredictable family life is.
For parents with even younger children that are not yet in primary school, Wordculture offers day-care by a child professional next door to the adult language classes.
Something I wish I had when my children were babies. Having someone watch your children in the room next to your language class feels priceless, especially when you are a new mom that needs opportunity and a pair of hands to help you re-connect with the world.
Written by Maria Karachaliou, founder of Momizen.com and mother of 3 children, living near Zurich, Switzerland.
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How to keep children dry and warm at school
Climate change and the sudden fluctuations in temperature have many parents confused about what their children should wear when they leave the house in the morning.
They do not know what to wear to children to keep them warm from the cold and dry from the rain.
Cold and rainy weather should not be a problem
Instead of wearing 2 children's T-shirts, a blouse, a cardigan just in case and a jacket, prefer isothermal underwear. Many layers of clothes make a child’s movements hard and difficult. So instead of "loading" our children with a lot of “wrong” clothes, choose the few and right ones. An isothermal T-shirt and softshell pants will keep your child warm and offer her comfort in the playground.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes once said, "There is no bad weather, just the wrong clothes!"
Avoid wearing jeans. When it is cold and raining, it is best to avoid jeans. If wet, they can cause hypothermia in a child. Prefer soft-shell pants instead. They are water resistant, breathable and lightweight pants that are resistant to abrasions & tears. They are perfect for playgrounds and activities because they hold up extremely well to mountain abuse. Light rain and snow can be shedded off so they get dry quickly when they get wet. Children can also wear them over their overalls when the weather gets even colder. This way, they will stay dry even during the school break.
Fleece blouses are not too thick, nor too thin keeping a child warm. They come in a lot of colors, with buttons or zippers, they are easy to clean and dry really fast.
When it comes to choosing a jacket, you need to choose the right one not just in terms of style but comfort and suitability. Prefer warm and waterproof jackets that are suitable not only for the cold but also for the rain, preventing water from passing through their clothes.
Hat and gloves and shoes
A hat definitely keeps a kid warm. For this, a hat should cover your child's ears. As for gloves just make sure they have a warm lining on the inside and waterproof surface on the outside. When it comes to shoes all parents must pay extra attention because children's fingers get cold quickly. That's why you should buy warm socks. However, in order for the socks to remain dry, especially on a rainy day, the child's shoes should be waterproof. Prefer leather shoes without fabric details. If it is a gym free day, wellies are a better choice. Always remember to have a soft and warm lining so that your children's feet do not freeze.
Do not overdo it!
Remember that you should dress your children well and not too much. Do not overdo it with warm clothes, socks and gloves. This can lead to sweating in children, making them colder afterwards. It is better to put gloves, a hat, waterproof pants and a pair of dry socks in their school bag, so that they can wear whatever they want depending on how they feel and the temperature outside.
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