Access research supporting the positive claims around language learning.

Benefits of language learning

Language skills are likely to become increasingly in demand amongst employers as we shift towards a more export-led economy. There can be great advantages for British businesses if employees can communicate with at least reasonable proficiency in the language of clients, customers and suppliers.
CBI Education and Skills Survey 2014

Myths about language learning

Everybody speaks English.
Reality: Only 6% of the world’s population speak English as a first language. 75% of the world’s population don’t speak any English. English is NOT enough!

English is a global language, but in fact only about 6% of the world’s population are native English speakers and an estimated three quarters do not speak English at all.
Talk the talk: a guide to maximising your prospects using languages (British Academy, 2013)

Learning languages is particularly difficult.
Appropriate teaching methods can ensure success in language learning for all learners.

Through their planning of a wide and rich range of learning activities in modern languages to develop literacy and language skills teachers will support children and young people to become: 

  • successful learners, who can reflect on how they have acquired and learned their first language and how this can assist them in further language learning 
  • confident individuals, who, through experiencing success and support, can interact with others in real-life situations, talk about topics of personal interest and deliver presentations in their new language 
  • effective contributors, who can work in individual, paired and group situations, and establish and maintain contact with other speakers of the target language 
  • responsible citizens, who have a growing awareness of life in another society and of the issues facing citizens in the countries where their new language is spoken.

Modern Languages: Principles and Practice (Education Scotland, 2010)

You have to be fluent for languages to be of any use.
A little language goes a long way, with most employers looking for conversational ability in the language.

The vast majority of businesses may not require a high level of foreign language fluency as an essential core competence of their operations. However,conversational fluency in another language helps in the conduct of business and can assist staff in their careers.
CBI Education and Skills Survey 2014

Benefits of language learning

  • Better understanding of different cultures
  • Improved self confidence
  • Enhanced ability to build new relationships
  • Improved literacy and reading skills
  • Enhanced problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Increased employability

These and other benefits can be found on the LLAS website 700 Reasons.

Please see Modern Languages Principles and Practice 

A 1+2 Approach to Language Learning
Introduction: Why does language learning matter?

Talk the talk: a guide to maximising your prospects using languages

Visit the Job Profiles section of the SCILT website to find out how languages have helped in the careers of a range of professionals.

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages