More than two thirds of Northern Irish adults wish they hadn’t let valuable language skills from their school days slip, new research from the British Council has revealed.
Despite over three quarters of those surveyed, a whopping 80%, recognising that language skills give you greater employment opportunities and believing that speaking another language makes you seem more intelligent, the same number, 80%, admit to having never fully appreciated the benefits of learn- ing a language when they were at school.
Whilst almost one in two confessed that they are embarrassed by their current lack of language skills, 75% of those surveyed had lost most of those skills within just one year of finishing school, rising to 85% within two years.
Interestingly, despite the fact that Northern Ireland is a region which is becoming more and more cultur- ally diverse, it remains largely a place of monoglots.
However, although it may be easier for younger learners, it is never too late to start learning a new language. With the benefits making it all the more worth the while. One report from the Academy of Neurology has presented findings which show that speaking more than one language can slow down age related illnesses such as dementia.
From the impact on the economy to communi- ty cohesion, multilingualism has a plethora of advantages.
Commenting on the subject, Vicky Gough, Schools Adviser at the British Council, said: “employers are desperate for language skills and the current short- age of them is estimated to be costing the country tens of billions in missed trade and business oppor- tunities every year.
“We need to encourage far more of our young peo- ple not just to develop their language skills whilst at school but to ensure that they keep them up in the future. The reality is that learning a language isn’t just a rewarding way to connect with another culture but will boost job prospects too.”
With technology dominating our everyday lives, learning a new language has never been easier, offering a range of facilities for all levels.
Above all else, 89% of Northern Irish adults sur- veyed agree that languages open doors to exploring and experiencing different cultures and ways of life; allowing learners to connect with different people and engage in a multilingual society.
89% of Northern Irish adults surveyed agree that languages open doors to exploring and experiencing different cultures and ways of life
- More than two thirds of Northern Irish adults wish they hadn’t let valuable language skills from their school days slip
- A whopping 80%, recognising that language skills give you greater employment opportunities
- 80%, admit to having never fully appreciated the benefits of learn- ing a language when they were at school
Northern Ireland: #CravesMore
Share Your Thoughts