Another rainy day melted into the next, tiny pale fingers of sunlight pulling through curtains of dreary grey, only to be overshadowed by the never ceasing showers. Just another UK summer…
Except any student here knows there is more than meets the eye to a bedrenched June afternoon. When you look past the downpour and the pavements swiftly transforming into ponds, an even greater evil lurks. The end of term exams. *cue dramatic music*
Reams and reams of question papers, oral examinations and listening tapes- this is the reality of a language student. And the crippling fear, the fear that you cannot possibly encompass the knowledge of an entire language in a mere year or two, let alone trying to read the mind of an examiner, who will always have at least one tricky grammar structure or even worse, vague idiom, up their sleeve for your paper. A nightmare that many face every year.
And it doesn’t end there! Anyone who has spent any time soaking up the sun in a foreign country knows the fear and trepidation which grasps hold of you as you approach a cafe counter or try to ask for directions. Our world is getting smaller and smaller, and foreign language skills aren’t just an asset any more, they are an essential. Bilingualism and multilingualism (awfully large words that simply mean people who speak two or more languages fluently) have many benefits:
- It’s easier to learn even more languages
- It enhances your thinking processes
- It allows you to mix better with locals and get a deeper insight into their culture
- Multilingual companies often have a better competitive edge over monolingual companies
- More than one language looks great on a CV or resume, and can even be a requirement for some jobs and courses.
“One language sets you on a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”– Frank Smith