Future Voices: Expand your horizons – learn a new language

Future Voices: Learning language, Photo: Beth Ashby

Future Voices: Learning language, Photo: Beth Ashby - Credit: Archant

Whether we're spending them at home or abroad, the summer holidays remind us of the importance of learning a language.

Many of us are jetting off abroad for summer, but who can actually speak the language of their holiday destination?

Britons have earned the notorious reputation of expecting those they encounter on their holidays to speak English but often this is not the case and sometimes we can find ourselves in tricky situations overseas, for example when our hot water doesn't work or someone breaks their leg.

Being able to communicate more effectively with the locals would help to resolve problems like these more easily. The locals have more respect for those who try and speak their language rather than those who expect English to be everywhere.

Not only that, but knowing the lingo can open up many more possibilities during your travels. You can make new friends or perhaps meet a 'summer romance' which leads to many new experiences, turning what could be a disastrous family vacation into something truly memorable and beautiful.

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We all know that summer brings many tourists from overseas, and with Norfolk being a popular beauty spot, we know it more than most. By knowing a language, you can make visitors feel more welcomed into the country and when they catch you in the street for advice or look lost, you will be able to describe attractions to them or explain our culture, making their visit to Britain, and to Norfolk, more enjoyable.

Of course, as we draw into mid-August, it may also be worth considering whether the subjects you choose or study in the new school year should include a language.

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It is a well-known fact that employers value candidates who have knowledge of a modern foreign language as they have evidence of good communicative qualities, and may well be an asset if the company has dealings abroad, which, with globalisation and the global village, many do.

Learning a language is important because it augments your experiences both at home and abroad, it raises your profile when job-seeking in the future and, after all, it's fun!


By Charlotte Wilson, 17, from King's Lynn

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