Why Study Languages
The School was pleased to welcome Dr Irene Macias from Bath University to speak to year 9 pupils about the importance of continuing with their languages to GCSE and beyond. Dr Irene Macías has a keen interest in language teaching and learning in schools. She has led two research projects on the transition from school to degree level and organizes a day of training for schoolteachers at the department. Her career has included freelance interpreting for Amnesty International and work as a translator for Cambridge University Press.
When considering future subject choices pupils should be aware of both the personal and career benefits of learning a language. The pleasure of being able to communicate with local people enriches any stay abroad and can lead to lasting friendships. It gives a better understanding of the culture and people. There is a strong need in the country for people with foreign language skills, a need which is likely to increase. At the moment Britain stands at the bottom of the European league table for foreign language skills, yet 71% of the world’s population does not speak English. According to a CBI survey in 2014 two thirds of firms identified a need for foreign language skills. They are vital in building relations with overseas contacts. Knowledge of French, German or Spanish is highly prized by companies. The EU is our largest export market.
The message from Dr Irene Macias was very clear. Continue with your languages! They will enrich your life and open up many opportunities. They may be hard work but they will stay with you for life.