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Why Should UK Citizens Learn a New Language After Brexit?

Why Should UK Citizens Learn a New Language After Brexit?

Brexit is now in full force and relations with the European Union have drastically changed, in other words it can be said that this is a start of a new era. 

However, this has led many people to believe that learning a second language will no longer be necessary, but this is simply not the case. After Brexit, only two EU countries, which are Ireland and Malta, have English as their official language. This means that the extra language you’ve been intending to learn will come in handy in this post-Brexit society.

The significance of language learning in today’s world is clear. On a personal level, learning a foreign language is known to improve social skills, intellectual abilities and increase employability. In a global context, languages are crucial to a country’s ability to cooperate with the wider world and create cultural and commercial relationships. Back in 2017 it was estimated that the UK was losing out on £4.8bn every year as a consequence of its lack of language skills.

  1. The “Brexit Effect”
  2. National Language Strategy
  3. Job Opportunities in the UK
  4. Target New Markets
  5. Secure a Higher Salary
  6. Which languages are most in demand?

The “Brexit Effect”

The term “Brexit effect” was created to define the effect of the 2016 referendum in a wide array of contexts, with language learning being one of them. A recent report by the British Council suggests that Brexit is having a negative impact on language learning in schools. Parents feel that European language skills will be of limited use following the UK’s exit from the EU. A shortage of language teachers and expertise in schools is another issue which Brexit looks set to make worse. Especially as a high proportion of language teachers employed in the UK are nationals from the EU.

National Language Strategy

In the early part of 2020, the UK National Academies published a “call for action”. In which they set out the significance of multilingualism and the areas in which the UK is falling short. They say although it brings unique challenges, Brexit can be regarded as a unique opportunity for the UK. By refocusing its attitude towards language learning we can turn the UK into a ‘linguistic powerhouse’. The report urges Government and policymakers to stand with organisations who are keen to execute a national strategy for languages.

The strategy they propose would need to span further than just education in schools. It would involve collaborating across sectors and policy areas. Also aiming to open up language learning opportunities to all people at all stages of life. That is why visiting Learn&Co will be your solution. Since you can find experienced tutors to not only help you learn a language but also be able to do it at your own pace and level.

Why Should UK Citizens Learn a New Language After Brexit?

Job Opportunities in the UK

A major worry since leaving Brexit has been about career prospects. However, learning another language, could in fact make you a more appealing candidate while creating further job openings. A great number of British businesses depend on EU and foreign employees to develop positive corporate dealings with other nations.

If Brexit constrains free movement, EU nationals may have to go through costly visa applications to work in the UK. Consequently, it will be considerably tougher for businesses to hire employees. In this way UK citizens with such skills will be in high demand.

Why Should UK Citizens Learn a New Language After Brexit?

Target New Markets

More companies will be looking to expand their horizons by targeting new markets. If the audience is unable to understand what you are selling, they are not likely to buy your product. According to a 2014 Common Sense Advisory Group survey, 75 percent of consumers are more likely to acquire a product if it presented in their native language. It is important for the UK to target new markets post-Brexit. Without being able to speak foreign languages this could prove to be very tricky.

Why Should UK Citizens Learn a New Language After Brexit?

Secure a Higher Salary

Markets with skill deficiencies are often candidate-driven. Therefore businesses need to deliver extra benefits and higher salaries to appeal to the finest. Given the UK’s current deficit in language skills, UK citizens that are able to speak any foreign language are able to command higher salaries.

Why Should UK Citizens Learn a New Language After Brexit?

Which languages are most in demand?

In 2013 The British Council highlighted the 10 most important languages for the UK economy over the next 20 years as Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese based on UK business needs and overseas trade targets. There are plenty of languages to choose from and once you’re able to speak one of these foreign languages, you’ll be paving the way to many high-end recruitment opportunities for yourself.

Why Should UK Citizens Learn a New Language After Brexit?

In summary, the UK has reached a critical moment where investing in upgrading the nation’s language skills is important. Now is the moment to initiate a bold new policy which should be cross-government and focused on maintaining improvement in language capacity over the medium to long-term. 

Adults and young people should consider the need for, and benefits of, language learning, and take responsibility for their own learning using the formal education system such as schools or private providers such as Learn&Co – where you can find experienced tutors that are able to tailor their lessons to provide the most efficient and effective learning for people of all abilities.

The extent to which the country can achieve the vision of a truly ‘Global Britain’ depends on our ability to understand and engage with the rest of the world. Language learning has a vital part to play.

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