Never has the future for students of foreign languages been rosier. According to the Confederation of British Industry nearly 75% of businesses need personnel with language skills. “Operating effectively in a global economy relies on the right language skills”.
As part of the department’s career programme, we were very pleased to welcome linguists from GCHQ to the school to talk to our pupils about GCHQ and in particular the role of the language analyst. GCHQ employs more linguists than any other government department and they have a very demanding and challenging role, needing not only to understand standard language but also text messages and slang, political and cultural references. The skills acquired through the study of a language are transferable. Employers like Foreign Language graduates, not only for their linguistic skills and cultural knowledge, but because they are articulate, have an eye for detail, are self- reliant, resourceful and demonstrate initiative.
Following the talk, our students were able to sample a taster lesson in Russian or Persian, languages not commonly taught in schools. This was a unique opportunity and we hope students might be encouraged to take up a new language in the future.