Why learn a foreign language? Everybody speaks English! This is quite a common attitude amongst native English speakers. It is clear to see why people can draw such a conclusion when popular tourist destinations gear things towards the British and Americans; when most of our music and television is in English and foreign celebrities speak to us in their second language. So yes, English is the most spoken language on the planet, but with 30% of the world’s population having it as a first, second or third language, you can’t exactly say that is everybody.
But what about the benefits of being able to communicate in another language? What can it do for you?
“Language learning is life enhancing. It opens the doors to possibilities and experiences which are not available to those who are restricted to the knowledge of one language.”
Language lies at the heart of communication. It means you can build new relationships with interesting people and learn about the things others do differently in their countries and realise, in fact, in many ways we are the same. We all celebrate New Year but isn’t it fascinating to know that while we are letting off fireworks and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, in Denmark they are breaking dishes off their neighbours’ doors and in the Philippines they are wearing polka dots!
Another good reason is your career. Employers in want people with another language. It doesn’t matter what kind of field you work in. And they are prepared to pay you more than someone without. Plus you can get to travel, see amazing sights and brag about it on Facebook. That’s why it complements all other subjects at GCSE and A level.
Languages are complicated, logical and illogical. They make you think and are challenging. But in the end extremely rewarding and loads of fun! So…