Why learn a foreign language?

It is widely known that English is the world’s most widely spoken language. But why is important learning a foreign language and why speaking a good English can give you the edge in a job application?

Sure, a high level in English or in another language is a good skill on your CV: first of all, because English is very used to update in the academic, computer science, commerce, and marketing fields. In addition, it is important to note that most of the content produced, shared on or linked to the Internet is in English.

The knowledge of foreign languages – such as French, German, Italian or Spanish – can provide a distinct advantage, as well, above all if you want to work with a multinational company or you love traveling.

That’s why I decided to interview Karine Couly, Director at Be Smart Language School for asking her about which types of certificate do employers usually ask and for knowing more about her school.

1 – Why is important to learn foreign languages and above all English?

Learning a foreign language and English, in particular, is not only important… it is necessary. In fact, English is the most widely spoken language in the world – approximately 1.5 billion people around the world speak English, whether as their native tongue or as a foreign language, and this number is still growing. But other languages such as Spanish, French, Italian or Chines are getting more and more popular because people like speaking these languages while being on holiday overseas. It is also always nice to be able to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your mother tongue or can’t speak English either. Moreover, the more languages you speak, the easier it becomes so there is no need to hesitate!

If you are a student, learning a new language can help you getting into good universities as it demonstrates your ability to experience different cultures which always looks good on your application. Same with jobs – it will definitely improve your jobs prospects. In an increasingly competitive job market, you need to stand out of the crew and learning a new language will definitely help you in that respect. But it’s not just about padding your resume… With globalization, there’s a good chance you’ll be working with people whose first language isn’t your mother tongue so being able to communicate in other languages makes you much more valuable to an employer.

Last but not least, learning a new language also makes you smarter – lots of research has been done on this topic and show that bilingual people show better adaptation and better cognitive skills.
It also helps to reduce biases in your decision-making and scientists say that being bilingual can help delay the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

On a more personal note, I’d say that learning new languages built my confidence, made a more open-minded person as I now have a better understanding of cultural differences thanks to amazing people from all around the world I’ve met.

2 – Which types of certificate do employers usually ask?

In countries such as France, Germany, Spain or Italy, employers usually ask for Cambridge exams. That’s why at Be Smart Language School we offer exam preparation classes for KET, PET, FCE and CAE. However, in the UK, IELTS is more popular, especially when it comes to applying for universities or professional training. Our native teachers are qualified and have lots of experience in teaching exam. So far, our school pride themselves to 97% passed exams since we have started in 2013, something we are very proud of.

3 – Which services Be Smart Language School offers?

Be Smart Language School offers language lessons to adults and children in 8 languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and Greek. Our classes are small so we ensure our students get the best from our teachers and we do our best to keep our prices affordable so everyone has a chance to learn a language. We offer General language lessons or exam preparations, in groups or as part of private lessons. Our teaching approach is students’ centered which means we adapt our teaching to our students’ needs – this is the best way to progress in our opinion. We can also help students to find a job by offering Workshop sessions where they learn how to write a CV and a cover letter and are trained to improve their interview techniques.

Our children lessons are fun and interactive and designed to engage our youngest students on the path of loving languages.

4 – Why do you decide to start your own school?

I’m French and arrived in the UK 10 years ago. My English was very poor at that time, therefore, everything was a challenge from looking for an accommodation and a job to going shopping and make friends. To improve my communication skills, I took a huge number of English lessons. Although I went to different schools, I ended up in classes where groups would not meet my needs and/or my classmates at different levels. After working for 8 years in educational publishing and qualifying as a French teacher, I decided to set up my own school so I would offer a different teaching approach where students would get what they really need. So rather than asking our students to adapt to a program, we do adapt our teaching program to their needs so we get outstanding results. Moreover, I wanted to build a community in Milton Keynes where people could meet and make friends. having been in their shoes before, I know you can feel lonely when you arrive in a foreign country so Be Smart offers them support to make friends and build a happy life in Milton Keynes.

5 – How many languages Be Smart teaches?

Be Smart Language School offers language lessons to adults and children in 8 languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and Greek.

6 – What’s your school objectives and goals?

Thanks to a team of 12 amazing teachers, Be Smart has today a very good reputation so our objective is to open more schools in Buckinghamshire and the surroundings. That’s why we are currently recruiting franchisees who have a passion for languages and are happy to dedicate time and energy to teaching languages and helping people find their feet in England or anywhere else in the world.

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