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  1. 1. Why Study Languages Why Study Languages Produced by the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies … When Everyone Speaks English? Endorsed by Languages Work
  2. 2. Sex Goda Skäl För Att Studera Språk… Did you understand? Du kan få ett jobb Du har nytta av det ute i världen Du kommer att träffa mycket folk Du lär känna dig själv bättre Du kan uppleva nya kulturer Det är spännande
  3. 3. Six Good Reasons for Studying Languages… It’ll get you a job It’s exciting It gets you places You’ll meet loads of new people You can enjoy new cultures You’ll find out more about yourself
  4. 4. It’ll Get You a Job A few facts about language graduates and employability But first – which of the following subjects do YOU think have the best job prospects? Physical Sciences German Law Mathematics Biological Sciences English Education Business Studies French Agriculture/Forestry Psychology Medical Sciences
  5. 5. It’ll Get You a Job Average un employment rates for new graduates in the UK 1996-2002 Medicine / Dentistry / Vet Science 0.44% Education 3.19% Law 3.65% German 4.67% French 4.85% All Modern Languages 5.51% Mathematics 6.21% Physical Sciences 6.25% English 6.49% Biological Sciences 6.61% Psychology 6.64% Business / Administration 6.66% Agriculture/Forestry 6.70% Source: Keith Marshall, 2003
  6. 6. It’ll Get You a Job The jobs new UK graduates really did in 2002 Business Services 25.3% Banking / Finance 10.8% Wholesale / Retail 11.5% Manufacturing 9.0% Public Administration 9.2% Community / Social Services 6.9% Education 8.0% Transport / Communications 6.9% Health/Social Work 5.3% Hotels & Restaurants 4.4% International Organisations 0.2% Other Areas 2.4% Source: Keith Marshall, 2003
  7. 7. It’ll Get You a Job “ Being able to speak other languages is a skill that gets you ahead” The UK trades with over 200 countries worldwide (Source: Trade Partners UK, 2002) "UK businesses need people with language skills, to operate at all levels." (Languages Work Handbook for Languages and Careers, CILT 2004 ) “ Overseas inward investment into this country means that multilinguals are needed in the UK” (Higher Education Advisory Panel) “ Communication barriers lead to missed business opportunities” (Plasberg, U. (1999) ‘Building bridges to Europe: languages for students of other disciplines’ in the Language Learning Journal, No. 20, pp. 51-58)
  8. 8. It’ll Get You a Job “ Being able to speak other languages is a skill that gets you ahead” “ One in every five British exporters (Statistics from Metra Martech) knows it is losing overseas business through its inability to overcome language and cultural differences.”   Ref: BCC Language Survey: The Impact of Foreign Languages on British Business - Part 1: The Qualitative Results (British “ The rapid expansion of opportunities for e-business within a shrinking world is driving a need for languages ability. Customer expectations and the high stakes of winning or losing business require competence to deal in a customer's language.”   Ref: Scottish Executive, Ministerial Action Group on Languages (2000) Citizens of a Multilingual World: Key Issues (
  9. 9. It’ll Get You a Job “ Being able to speak other languages is a skill that gets you ahead” Sixth form students say: “ A language allows entry to the European marketplace.”   “ A language gives you a competitive edge over an opponent.” “ A language is a USP (unique selling point).” “ It’s an unusual qualification that employers respect.” “ Being successful at another language shows good communication skills and shows employers you are willing to learn new skills and welcome a challenge.”
  10. 10. It’ll Get You a Job “ Being able to speak other languages is a skill that gets you ahead” University students say: “ A language degree is almost like a gift. It's an amazing advantage over other graduates. They're going to be working in English-speaking countries whereas you have the flexibility to go and work in a foreign-speaking country.”  “ In today’s world companies do a lot of business with foreign companies. They need to be able to communicate with them. They need people with languages. ”
  11. 11. It’ll Get You a Job It’s not just language skills either Employers say they value the key skills developed by language learners – these include: communication skills • team working skills interpersonal skills • presentation skills problem solving skills • organisational skills good learning strategies… … can you think of any more?
  12. 12. It Gets You Places Language degrees often involve some time working or studying abroad This might involve living in a European country… or further afield in Africa, Asia, Latin America or North America Students on non-language degrees can sometimes choose to go abroad on student exchanges
  13. 13. It Gets You Places Living abroad is an experience… “ Going to university was amazing but going to Mexico was the best experience in my entire life – it was absolutely fantastic. It was the Mexican culture and generally being in such a fantastic country – it was just so different to being in the UK”
  14. 14. It Gets You Places You learn so much… “ You arrive and you have to learn about new customs and where people live. You learn to deal with new people. You have to think about every word you speak until suddenly you are fluent. It makes you appreciate home too” Suzanne is going back abroad after her final year to marry her Mexican boyfriend
  15. 15. You’ll Meet Loads of New People “ I’ve made lots of new friends, it’s really widened my horizons” Using a language is a social activity and language learning leads to encounters with people from many backgrounds “ Speaking with people from different cultures is very enriching. Languages enable you to do this” “ Learning a language develops your interest in other people”
  16. 16. You’ll Find Out More About Yourself Most people find their experiences very rewarding at a personal level “ It’s a challenge” “ It’s enriching – you develop yourself” “ It opens your mind to understanding other people but it also affects you in your own life” “ You learn to get on with your surroundings – you become less judgemental”
  17. 17. You Can Enjoy New Cultures You find out about and experience different cultures … whilst reflecting on your own “ I really enjoy meeting people with different perspectives on life – with different values – different traditions” “ Meeting other cultures, you start to think about your own country and background” “ You don’t realise that even the most basic things can be different”
  18. 18. It’s Exciting And studying languages at university you will have lots of choice… UCAS – the universities admissions service – lists over 7000 different language degree courses on its website “ Just being able to communicate with people who know a different language from you – it’s a really great feeling”
  19. 19. It’s Exciting Arabic • Chinese • Czech Dutch • French • German Gujerati • Hebrew • Hindi Indonesian • Irish • Italian Japanese • Polish • Portuguese Russian • Sanskrit • Slovak Spanish • Swahili • Swedish Tamil • Thai • Turkish • Welsh … and many more… Languages you can choose include
  20. 20. It’s Exciting There are 4 language learning routes you could follow at university Route 1 Take a language degree – study one or more languages together with related modules in areas such as linguistics • drama • film & media politics & society • history • literature popular culture
  21. 21. It’s Exciting Route 2 Take a degree which integrates study of a language with other subjects. This includes degrees in European Studies • International Studies • Business Studies • Leisure & Tourism There are many other possibilities
  22. 22. It’s Exciting Route 3 Take a joint degree and combine language study with another discipline e.g. Spanish & Computer Science • Politics & Arabic • Marine Sciences with French • Geology & Italian “ I find Spanish very challenging and really relevant to my career choice” Look in prospectuses to discover more options…
  23. 23. It’s Exciting Route 4 Take a language option at some point in your degree Sometimes you can take specialist language options which relate directly to your main course of study e.g. French for Lawyers • German for Engineers • Italian for Art Historians
  24. 24. And If You Still Need Convincing… Maximum Career Prospects You will be very employable Maximum Experience There are lots of personal benefits Maximum Choice There are many languages and courses to choose from Maximum Fun It’s certainly not all work and no play Studying languages means Produced by the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies