The audience of some 50 students from years nine to 13 were taken from the school’s Gifted and Talented programme and all were already studying one or more languages. Among the audience were children who are or have learned at the VICI Language Academy. (Such as Alice Thomas – left on picture – who was my students when she was only at primary school!)
As the founder of the VICI Language Academy and VICI Language Dynamics I was invited – that’s Nathalie Danon-Kerr to new readers, together with a former student and a solicitor and all demonstrated how a love of language had guided their careers.
It was great to see many children interested in learning foreign languages and I explained to them that while English is an international language, it no longer offers a competitive advantage. A second language is no longer a luxury but a necessity if you truly want to get ahead.
I pointed to a recent article in The Independent which said lack of language threatened economy and a recent survey we blogged about which showed which languages were in most demand in different parts of the world.
There were some great questions too and speaking about which languages to learn prompted a question from a student who was learning Spanish and had been told it was the right one to learn and was now worried it might not be.
There are trends in languages and the demand can shift and unless you are planning to work in a specific country or with a specific language it is much better to learn a language you love – employers will recognise the commitment and means you almost certainly could learn another language.
There were lots of personal questions about going to university and what to study and I explained that it was important to take your education to that level as that too demonstrated commitment.
I concluded by assuring them that if you are proficient in a foreign language you will never be out of work. If you are career minded you will not just have a job because you are bilingual, but it will put your CV at the top of the pile regardless of the need for that language.
I really enjoy public speaking and especially when it involves inspiring young people at school, college or university to pursue a passion for foreign languages, so please get in touch if you would like me to visit your organisation.