Modern Foreign Languages
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Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. Pupils learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons, they gain insight into their own culture and society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.
Gary Lineker: ‘My wife and I learnt Spanish when I played at Barcelona. We spent hours and hours in tuition – yet we could have learnt either language at school. Modern languages prepare you for modern life…As the world gets smaller, there’s never been a better opportunity to get into languages…Getting to grips with a new language can be great fun, and you learn so much about other people and what makes them tick…Immersing yourself in the culture is critical to making it work abroad’
David Beckham: I haven’t conquered Spanish yet. I’m learning and understand what’s said during training. I’m progressing little by little. Spanish is very difficult for me, although I am getting used to it. I am making an effort. It’s complicated. But if I can conquer Spanish, it will have been a great achievement.
Why is it important to learn a language?
In an increasingly global market Foreign Languages are vital to succeed. Our world is getting smaller as global communication links get better and faster and now, more than ever, languages in the workplace are in high demand.
The government has recently commissioned a report to review the situation of languages in secondary education as they realize what an important asset it is to speak another language. Without this, they fear for the future of international trading within the UK. UK businesses have also expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of languages spoken by the British population. English is just not enough.
It is proven statistically that unemployment rates amongst Modern Language Graduates are lower than amongst other graduates. Also, after recent research, it has been found that people who use languages in their jobs-even at a basic level-earn on average 8 % more.
Learning languages brings many other benefits including; improved communication skills, improved listening skills, improved social skills, cultural awareness and improved literacy. You are also more employable and more likely to be promoted in the workplace.
Nowadays there are more and more jobs that, often unexpectedly, favour those with languages e.g. Accountant, Journalist, Lawyer, Engineer, Air Hostess and Marketing Manager to name but a few.