As we raised a glass to toast 2020, it would have taken a brave man to predict that Gary Lineker would be teaching our children Spanish just a few months later. Yet Gary has signed up on BBC’s Supply Teacher to teach the language he learned after his transfer to Barcelona in 1986. Not your average footballer, he also spent eight months learning Japanese before his move to the country at the end of his career. The rationale being that footballers, who embraced living in a foreign country, were far more likely to succeed than those who stayed at home.
From earning more, to improved exam results, the social and scientific benefits of learning a language are undeniable. Who wouldn’t want to stride into a French boulangerie and come out with more than ‘une baguette’ just because it’s all you could remember from school? Well, the answer to why so few British people learn a foreign language is, of course we do not have to. Slowly but surely, English has become the language of global commerce and learning it is big business; in China alone, the English language learning market is worth $4.5bn USD.
Therefore, we must not rest on our laurels, and as the global job market becomes even more competitive, we should give our children the best opportunities to compete internationally. Does this start in school? Well possibly, but to me, as nation, we should change our mindset and not be complacent to the world speaking English. So for some ideas for the children: watch Senor Lineker or go online to free resources such as BBC Bitesize or the government’s National Academy (https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom/)
And for the rest of us? As it seems likely we won’t be jetting off to the continent in the summer, why not bring some of that home in the form of learning a language? Good luck or, as they say in Beijing, “zhu ni hao yun!”
“To learn a foreign language, is to have one more window from which to look at the world”
If you would like to learn more about our affordable online language classes please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org