I consider myself multilingual as I am fluent in writing, reading and speaking in Dutch and English. I have been learning French for several years and I am quite proficient in German, but I would not consider myself fluent in these languages yet. However, I hope to develop fluency when I am older.
Dutch is my mother tongue, which I learned while I grew up in the Netherlands. It is the language I speak with my family and Dutch-friends, both the ones in the Netherlands and the ones here in Japan. In the Netherlands I attended a Dutch-taught primary school, as well as a high school that taught Dutch at the highest level (VWO). When I moved to Japan I decided to continue improving my Dutch by continuing my VWO Language & Literature course online at the Wereldschool (‘World School’), which is is officially recognized by the Dutch Ministry of Education. More information about this can be found in the GCD reflection “Advanced Academics: Dutch Language & Literature”.
English is my second language, but I consider myself fluent in writing, reading and speaking in this language as well. I started learning English consciously at the age of ten 10, when I started taking English classes outside of school, because I was very interested in learning a then foreign language. In middle and high school I continued learning English at school and it was one of my favorite classes. At the end of 2017, before I moved to Japan, I took the Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test, which I passed with a score of 195 points and due to our move to Japan my English has only improved ever since.
In my opinion, multilingualism is very useful. So far, it has helped me connect to other people and cultures when my family and I went on vacation and did not speak the language of the country we were visiting. It has also broadened the range of movies I can watch, books I can read and information I can search for on the internet. Also, if I had not been multilingual, my application to YIS would not have been accepted, as English proficiency is crucial for understanding the content discussed in class and for contributing to the classes, as well as to the YIS community.
I think that multilingualism also opens many doors for the future. My ultimate dream is to eventually become a diplomat and work all around the globe. For this dream to be realistic I must be fluent in both Dutch and English, and preferably one or two other languages as well. It also increases my career options in general, because my fluency in Dutch allows me to work in the Netherlands and my fluency in English allows me to work in a foreign country for an international organization or firm and in some cases also local organizations or firms.