We recently featured in an article in the Guardian discussing how learning a new language can really boost your career and that it is never too late to learn. To see the article and our comments in full click here. But here’s a summary of the piece:
- Speaking to people in their own language for business purposes will yield results; people are far more likely to speak freely and openly if you are speaking in their own language
- In jobs in sales, marketing or technical support, languages can really open doors. In fact it is estimated that having an additional language on your CV can add between 10% to 15% to your salary.
- For those looking to boost a career, and in particular the graduates that are currently facing a tough time getting work, learning a language is very beneficial.
- Most countries may speak English, and whilst some business may very well be completed in English to accommodate parties from across the globe, if you are seen to know a language and demonstrate this it can help to retain business. It is form of courtesy to show someone you can and are willing to speak to them in the native language.
- Cultural knowledge is just as important as being able to speak another language. If you know the way of life of the country you are doing business in or with it will really prove beneficial.
- The five most useful languages to learn currently are as follows: French, Spanish, Swedish, German and Russian.
What’s your experience? Can you relate with the points in this article or are you thinking about learning a language to boost your career? Let us know!
It’s no surprise that ever since the government made the learning of a foreign language at GCSE level optional, the number of students taking them has fallen. But according to the exam board, Cambridge Assessment, only 75% of the highest achievers take a GCSE exam in a modern language – that’s down from 94% 25 years ago. The research also said that Spanish is set to overtake German as the second most popular language after French.
Three quarters of the highest achievers studying languages is still a high percentage, however it’s worrying that this number has decreased so dramatically. And if it’s falling among the brightest students, what about the rest of the school population? More efforts need to be made to encourage language learning, or the pipeline of linguistic talent in the UK will continue to shrink.
Many of us in the UK can only manage a few words of Spanish, the most common ones being ‘hola’, ‘adios’ and ‘una cerveza’, I would imagine. So to celebrate and promote the Spanish language, the Cervantes Institute has launched the first international Spanish Language Day, or ‘el día del español’ which took place on Saturday 20th June.
With events planned in 43 countries, including concerts, films and storytellings, the Institute plans to hold the Spanish Day every year. It was officially launched this year at the Institute’s headquarters in Madrid where a cannon fired out thousands of pieces of paper with Spanish words written on them.
This seems like a great way to promote language learning around the world and something that schools and businesses could really get involved with. We’ll get thinking about ideas for 2010.