How Learning Another Language Can Benefit Your Career Prospects
Learning a second language, whether its English, Mandarin, or any language at all, can help you in regards to your future career prospects and/or opportunities. Many people from non-English speaking countries move to English speaking countries in the hopes of finding better employment or to provide their children with the opportunity to learn English and thus increasing their chances to be successful.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Benny H. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
English in Business World
Since English is the main business language of the world, many businesses want their employees to be able to speak English to expand and reach a larger group of people. This is especially common in Asian countries due to their huge population.
With English being the world language, it makes sense for businesses in non-English speaking countries to recruit people who are fluent in English. If a business has employees that can speak multiple languages, they have the opportunity to expand and do business with many different businesses around the world. This creates a demand for natives who are proficient in English. Of course, hiring new employees when you don’t need to is not wise so the next best option is to provide and encourage your current employees with the opportunity to learn English. This is why, in many countries, English language schools are very popular. More and more companies are paying for their employees to learn English. However, this perspective is very different between adults and young learners in terms of motivation and understanding.
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English for Adults
Adults can understand this situation and thus, if they want, for example, better pay or travel opportunities or the chance to work abroad, they will actively work towards learning English to achieve their goals or simply just for a better salary.
English for Younger Learners
Young learners often don’t have this type of motivation or understanding. In school, students learn English because they have to as part of their curriculum and they don’t have the motivation to remember the language. However, during university/college, students are more aware and so many become motivated or at least try their best to learn another language. As a Canadian, I had to learn French for 6 years, but since I learned it just to pass the class, I quickly forgot all of it. As an adult now, even though I still don’t use French at all, I wish I still knew at least a bit of it.
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Job Opportunities and Perks
If an individual learned English as a second language, their salary would most likely be better than their co-workers who don’t know English. This is true for both recently graduated university students who will use English in their jobs and for already working adults whose company pays for their English lessons. Since knowing English is considered a skill that many people don’t have in non-English speaking countries, companies will pay more for employees with more skills. Knowing English also allows you to have better career opportunities. By knowing foreign languages, you can be allowed to work overseas which is a promotion of both salary and career-wise.
On the other hand, the opposite is also true. If English is your first language, knowing a second language would also benefit your career-wise. English is my second language; thankfully, however, I grew up in Canada and thus learned English through immersion and not through classes. Although there’s not much of a push for English speaking countries to hire people with foreign language skills, people who know a foreign language can work for foreign companies.
Also Read: 5 Questions about English for Specific Purposes
If you want better career opportunities, a better salary, or the chance to work abroad, English would be the best language for someone to learn. However, this is not very easy to recognize at a young age or even in someone’s teen years. The best time to learn any second language is during their school years, however, if one falls behind, it will require a lot of individual effort to catch back up. I think that to motivate students to learn English, teachers should explain and show the benefits of learning English or any second language.
Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course!
Right now, I work as an assistant English teacher and I find that the students who are good at English either like it or have a clear goal that they’re working towards and learning English are a part of that. English teachers need to motivate students and thus create a willingness to learn the language.
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