The 20th century firmly cemented English in its position as the world language – the remnant of an empire, the tool of our global village, the hammer that broke down cultural walls. But where English thrives, so too do other languages suffer.
Save the whales, save the trees … save the languages! “What’s in it for me?” I hear you cry – well here’s a list of why learning German, in particular, actively improves your life and saves a dying species:
Have you ever considered moving to London before? Maybe you have a job opportunity to go there? Or maybe you’re Italian and Rossella’s tips before leaving the “Bel Paese”s convinced you to move to the UK?
Today, Lolonyo shares with us 10 things that want to make you move to London!
So you’ve finally finished University, you’re still in Italy and you’ve just started thinking about what your next step will be. A million questions are flowing through your mind and you are seriously considering leaving the “Bel Paese”.
Then suddenly the cosmopolitan and multicultural English capital flashes before your eyes: “why don’t I go to London and build my career and success there?“
Great idea! However, before making this decision, you need to make a list of things to consider and to do before leaving the sunny country – if you really want to have a job and success in the UK.
This Applied Languages student is officially two months into her internship at the Frankfurt Office of Euro London Appointments. The aim of this endeavour was to gain some valuable work experience and of course to improve my level of German. While all is thankfully going well in the office, what of my language learning? Has my German improved over the last two months and in my opinion is applying for an internship at Euro London Appointments a worthwhile investment of the language learner’s time?
The rest of Europe may jump to the conclusion that it’s la belle vie when it comes to the French working week, with the stereotypes of the 35 hour week and 2 hour lunches. However not all is as it seems, the 35 hour working week is often but words on a contract ignored not by employers but by employees.
It was once, and in many cases still is expected of residents of other countries to conform to our language. England has managed to slip further and further down the table when it comes to citizens learning new languages. For years this has been a problem but the European Education Commissioner warns that if England continues this bizarre mind frame then it is seriously going to have a damaging effect on their chances to enter and even sustain employment in the business world.
Figures cited by Androulla Vassiliou show that the UK is quite literally at the foot of a European languages league table. This is rather disappointing when compared to the rest of the EU the UK boasts a mere 9% of 15 year olds who spoke one foreign language, compared to other countries. For example both the Netherlands and Sweden, who of course topped the league table with a whopping 80% of 15 year olds speaking one or more language. 
The UK has quite simply become lazy when it comes to language learning due to high volumes of other countries learning English as a second language. However Ms Vassiliou, Education Commissioner said that “This attitude doesn’t work. We live in a globalised world. We travel a lot. The EU, for instance, won’t employ people unless they speak two other languages.” This is something a lot of people fail to understand, which may soon become increasingly out of control if action does not take place.
Which leads us to share our delight and success at a language event which took place from the 18th – 20th October when Euro London attended the Language Live Show in Olympia which saw excited crowds of language lovers flow through the open doors; a refreshing sight for eyes which are fed up of reading about the lack of enthusiasm which runs throughout the UK.
As we hosted both a seminar and a CV clinic we were delighted at the positive response, restoring faith in people in relation to language learning and furthering their careers using these languages. Something which we can only hope to see flourish to a greater degree within the next year!
If you joined us at the weekend, please get in touch via Facebook and share your experience with us. www.facebook.com/eurolondon
Research which has previously taken place suggests that language learning is at its peak during the early stages in your life. This is typically up until the age of 9 years old and that’s why language learning should be thrust upon children for greater fluency. But just how relevant is this?
Research which was funded by the National Institutes for Mental Health (US) and the Wellcome Trust provides an insight into language learning for toddlers. This new research suggests that the brain has a critical timeframe between two and four for language development. This is mainly due to environmental factors.
UK and US scientists say that the biggest impact on the brain’s writing development to process new words is before the age of four. This was taken from brain scan images which provided results that suggest that young children are good at learning two languages because of the levels of myelin in the brain.
Two scientists, based at King’s College London, and Brown University, Rhode Island, studied 108 children with normal brain development between the ages of one and six.  They used brain scans to look at myelin – the insulation that develops from birth within the circuitry of the brain. To their surprise, they found the distribution of myelin is fixed from the age of four, suggesting the brain is most plastic in very early life.
But to regular people like us what on earth does this mean exactly? It simply means that we are more susceptible to environmental influences on our brain’s development earlier on in life. This is a fantastic trait to have when it comes to language learning; by being able to absorb useful information during infanthood it provides children with a greater base and understanding of what it is they are taking in. In this case fluency is greater at a younger age when it comes to language learning.
This gives a greater understanding as to why submersing children, before the age of four, into a bilingual environment before the age of four gives them the best chance of becoming fluent in both languages.
Some fascinating facts to remember when you may have children of your own!
We are all very aware of how popular the English language is in today’s world, particularly in business as well as the media and is arguably the most dominant language in history. However for those that speak the lingua franca is it a demon in disguise? Many English natives reject the path to learning a new language as the language is so popular worldwide they expect others to learn their language. With many countries still struggling to recover from the 2008 economic crisis could language learning genuinely be the answer to a lot of job hunting difficulties?
In the past, going to university and obtaining a degree was enough to impress employers but with the way the world is changing this does simply not cut it anymore. As a result of this we have countries with a number of top graduates who still struggle to find a career they desire in the working world. Carl Gilleard, former chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), said: “Businesses require talent to compete at a global level, and the fact that the UK is lagging behind its competitors in developing graduates who fit the bill is a real cause of concern.”  Something that a vast majority of Brits are ignoring.
According to recent stats 54% of Europeans can converse in at least one foreign language compared to a mere 39% of Britons who claimed the same. Further research indicates that a staggering 14% of UK graduates are missing out on fantastic opportunities within the digital sector as a result of not speaking another language.
Therefore given the evidence, other than voluntary work in order to build experience within sectors in order to provide an advantage in a job search, learning a second (third or even fourth) language could provide an alternative way to stand out and land you that job you’ve been waiting for!
Have you ever watched a film and wished you had a particular gadget or superpower, don’t be embarrassed now; it’s happened to the best of us! Fixated by the opportunities of being transported from a crowded city to a beautiful sunny island, or pondering what an easy life it would be if we could read people minds or the mischief that we could get up to if we had the chance to be invisible. But imagine the possibilities if you could have a conversation with someone on the other side of the world without either of you knowing the same language. According to recent reports in the media Google are in fact working on a new device that could do exactly this.
The gadget that is being designed by Google has been likened to the high-tech gadgets that have been seen in shows such as Star Trek. New developments at Google could potentially allow the technology to become reality as it could translate spoken words into another language in real-time through a receiver. Although the device is still a number of years away from being perfected, Google’s vice president of Android, Hugo Barra, revealed that it has already mastered translations from English to Portuguese.  This isn’t the first translation device that Google have brought to life as they already created ‘Google Translate’ which currently works with 71 languages.
So, if a world existed where language learning was no longer necessary to communicate between two people who speak different languages, would people still bother in taking the time to learn a language? If you asked us, we would have to disagree; although the device is brilliant and indeed would be a great addition to the world in a number of ways – there are certain attributes that it does not possess. Actually learning a language can provide a number of benefits which can benefit your life unlike a gadget, despite its intellect.
What are your thoughts – would a device such as the one Google is working on stop you from learning languages?
Ever thought singing in German, French, Spanish, Arabic (this list goes on) could help you master the art of a language? Well its time to take a sip of water, clear your throat and get belting – even if you’re not the next Katherine Jenkins or Elvis Presley, because singing can in fact improve your language learning abilities.
A number of language learners tend to simply repeat words and or phrases as a means of learning a foreign language which, lets be honest, can become quite boring very quickly. However a new study conducted by the University Of Edinburgh Reid School Of Music, shows that singing in a foreign language is a better way to learn it. One test even showed that people who sang foreign phrases performed twice as well as their non-singing counterparts.
A study was conducted in which participants either listened to words that were spoken and then had to repeat them back or the words were said rhythmically or sung. Researchers decided to choose the Hungarian language to conduct the tests in as participants were unlikely to have much experience in learning this particular language. Participants of the experiment were allocated 15 minutes in order to learn some of the Hungarian language. This was then followed by an exam which tested their ability to learn the words. The results of the study showed that those who had used the singing approach when learning, scored the highest and were also better at recalling the words correctly in tests of long term memory.
A researcher at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Ludke who helped conduct the experiment believed that the findings could dramatically help those who struggle to learn foreign languages. He also found further results suggesting that a “listen and sing” learning method can facilitate verbatim memory for spoken language phrases. 
The University has installed some great foundations for further research to be pursued and in the meantime has provided keen language learners with a new and exciting way to learn another language. So don’t be embarrassed to have a little sing song in a foreign language; after all it could be worth it when you’re fluent in another language!