Should I learn a language?Posted: 5th of December 2014 by
Learning another language (or few) is big news at the moment, what with Eddie Izzard being crowned 2014 Public Language Champion. Eddie delivers his stand-up routines around the world and impressively delivers these in Arabic, German, Spanish and French (an upcoming show will be delivered by him in Russian…is there no end to his talent?)
He is very keen on language learning and has said that: “I believe we have to tell people that learning another language is actually an adventure.” You can find out all about languages and TEFL opportunities on our Languages / ESOL page .
So, how useful is it to learn another language and if you do, do you need to get a formal qualification in it?
The benefits of learning another language
If you are considering a gap year where you travel, then learning at least some of the language native to where you are traveling is a good idea for a variety of reasons – firstly, it will help you get by in another country on a practical level and secondly, you are more likely to make new friends if you can speak at least a little of their language; we British can be a bit arrogant in expecting people in other countries to speak English.
The benefits to learning another language as far as work-skills go are that it may set you apart from other candidates for a job, especially when the job role you are going for involves working for a company that has clients overseas (which is more and more the case nowadays).
Being able to speak another language might improve your chances of working abroad for the company that you are employed by also. If the company has branches throughout Europe for example and a role comes up in perhaps Germany, then being able to speak the language may put you in the running for a new job or promotion.
Check out our article on developing your language skills for business.
Specifically, if you intend to work as cabin crew, many airlines will pay extra for additional languages that you can speak, so there is a direct cash incentive there.
Do you have to get a formal qualification?
You do not necessarily have to get a formal qualification in another language – often it will be enough to be able to demonstrate your language skills and don’t forget to put it on your CV. If you are fluent in another language or if you are proficient for business use then make sure these are highlighted for your future employer and try to provide an example of where and how your have used these skills.
Image source: Tobias Mikklesen/Dlickr.com/CC BY 2.0
When you are looking for an apprenticeship, or your first job, it’s probable that most of your attention will be focused on landing the role. ...
Applying for an apprenticeship can be a very competitive process and many organisations use video interviews as an initial screening process. Most...