Addressing The Language Gap At Schools: Bundling Language Learning With Science

The United Kingdom is known for a population that is increasingly reluctant to learning a second or even third language. In Wales alone the number of students who chose French or German at GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) has fallen by 28% and 38% in the past five years.

Interestingly those are the top two languages employers and managers in the UK would like to have their future employees speak fluently according to the 2012 Education and Skills survey by Pearson and the CBI, a business lobbying organisation in the UK.

In order to reverse that trend the National Centre for Languages in Wales came up with the idea to show students the effect of learning a second language in combination with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) when looking for a job in the UK and the European Union. It wants pupils to consider career prospects from combining science subjects with a language. Science is compulsory in Wales at GCSE but modern foreign languages are not. The idea is to show pupils who are considering their GCSE options that studying Stem subjects alongside languages can improve job opportunities in the UK and Europe.

The Education and Skills Survey showed, language skills are considered as an important part of the CV in a globalized world. Many companies have offices across the world, especially in BRIC countries. Being able to communicate with customers and colleagues in their native language is not only a social skill, it also helps to build better relationships and an understanding of the culture in the country.

In a world where speaking English is almost a commodity a second or even third language is basically a must for someone who wants to compete in the globalized job market. And with the Internet as the driver of trade and innovation, the globalization starts at your doorstep.


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