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2. If you know some more exciting facts or amusing statistics about languages, share them with your group mates. Unit 2. Being Multilingual


  • What do we call a person who knows many languages?

  • How many languages is it possible to learn?

  • Why people should learn foreign languages and become bilingual, trilingual, etc.

Enumerate the reasons.

1. Watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfH3BtWR-tA which is called “The importance of being bilingual”. Enjoy the joke. Make some comment.

Reading and Vocabulary

1. Read the text for gist. Grasp the main idea

How many languages do you speak? If your answer is one, then you need to wake up and look around you - the world is getting smaller and the citizens of the world are rapidly bridging the boundaries of language and even social / cultural differences. Learning a new language can mean broadening career opportunities, educational opportunities, enhancing global exchange of ideas and information and, of course, enjoying the beauty of a completely alien language by getting to know the grammatical as well as socio-cultural and historical aspects associated with it. Not just that. Learning a new language might also help to enhance your overall learning abilities and broaden your perspective while looking at the world. German, Japanese, Chinese, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, French, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish or any other language has its own rich knowledge base. Learning a foreign language sharpens our overall cognitive skills and helps in better understanding of several subjects and concepts associated with the language. 

Learning a language is a multi-faceted learning experience, which enriches you in many ways. First of all learning a new language brings you closer to the origins of the language, and the cultural, historical and social associations of the language with its place of origin. Thus learning a language is like getting to know an entire cultural or social system, with references to the lifestyle, geography, history, arts, economy as well modern socio-cultural practices including regional dialects and diversities, clothing style, as well as the cooking practices in the area where the language is spoken. 

Learning a new language is a great asset, which is highly valued in the era of globalization. It gives you an edge over others, as you become more equipped to face the global scenario than the people who have a limited set of linguistic skills for communication. In an age where business is crossing boundaries, foreign languages help to break the barriers of language and facilitate exchange of information.

So learning a foreign language can be an instrumental step in performing the global mission to solve social and economic problems in the world. 

2. Mark each statement as t (True) or f (or False). If false, make corrections.



  1. If you speak only one language then you don’t need to worry if it is a lingua franca.

  1. Learning a foreign language helps to feel the beauty not only of this alien language but also admire the harmony of the historical and cultural background of the country where the language is spoken.

  1. Learning a foreign language has nothing to do with cognitive, intellectual or analytical skills; it refers only to mechanical memorizing.

  1. Learning a foreign language is a one-sided process which develops only your linguistic skills.

  1. While learning a foreign language you get the whole picture of all aspects: history, geography, culture, fashion, etc.

  1. Learning a new language is a kind of risky investment as nobody knows whether it will pay back or not.

  1. People who have a limited set of linguistic skills for communication feel quite comfortable in a globalized world.

  1. The global mission in present day society is to promote sport on a global scale.

  1. Foreign languages help to destroy barriers and obstacles of all kinds and help to share information and knowledge.

3. In the text there is a word combination: “an edge over someone” which means “to have an advantage over someone, to be in superior position compared to others”. Answer the following question: what gives you an edge over other people in communication? Some ideas for you:

  • intuition;

  • in-born charisma;

  • knowing one or several foreign languages;

  • sincere interest in people;

  • ability to adapt to any situation;

  • psychological skills;

  • your variant.


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