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Why Should UK Citizens Learn A New Language After Brexit

Career / Languages / Brexit

Why Should UK Citizens Learn A New Language After Brexit

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard the fact that 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 the start of a new era. 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, 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. Thus, creating 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.

  • “Brexit Effect”
  • National Language Strategy
  • Job Opportunities In The UK
  • Target New Markets
  • Secure A Higher Salary
  • Which Languages Are Most In Demand?

“Brexit Effect”

The term “Brexit effect” has been created to define the effect of the 2016 referendum in a wide array of contexts. Language learning is one of them. A recent report by the British Council has suggested that Brexit is having a negative impact on language learning in schools. 

A shortage of language teachers and expertise in schools is another issue which Brexit looks set to make worse

There has been a noticeable change in attitudes. A growing number of learners and their 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. This is especially as a high proportion of language teachers employed in the UK are nationals from the EU.

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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. Whilst it brings unique challenges, Brexit can be regarded as a unique opportunity for the UK to refocus its attitude towards language learning. 

As a consequence, it can turn the UK into a ‘linguistic powerhouse’. The report urges Government, policymakers, and businesses to take part with the organisations who stand keen to explore the steps necessary. Then, they can implement and execute a national strategy for languages.

Brexit can be regarded as a unique opportunity for the UK to refocus its attitude towards language learning

The strategy they propose would need to span further than just education in schools. It would also involve collaborating across sectors and policy areas. This could open up language learning opportunities to all people at all stages of life. Hence, why visiting Learn&Co will be your solution. 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.

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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. Thus, creating further job openings. A great number of British businesses depend on EU and foreign employees to develop positive corporate dealings with other nations.

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 extensive or costly visa applications to work in the UK. Consequently, it will be considerably tougher for businesses to hire employees with language skills from the EU. Due to this, UK citizens with such skills will be in high demand.

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Target New Markets

With Brexit taking place, more companies will be looking to expand their horizons by targeting new markets. If the audience is unable to understand what you are selling, then they are not likely to buy your product. The results of a 2014 Common Sense Advisory Group survey revealed that 75 percent of consumers are more likely to acquire a product if the information is presented in their own language. It is important for the UK to target new markets post-Brexit. People in the UK being able to speak foreign languages prove this to be very tricky.

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Secure A Higher Salary

Markets with skill deficiencies are often candidate-driven. As such, businesses need to deliver extra benefits and higher salaries to appeal and interest the finest. Given the UK’s current deficit in language skills, UK citizens that are able to speak any foreign language will be able to command above average salaries regardless of the business.

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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. Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese were identified based on UK business needs and overseas trade targets. There are plenty of languages to choose from. 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.

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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. It 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

Adults and young people should consider the need for, and benefits of, language learning. They should take responsibility for their own learning using the formal education system, such as schools. Private providers are also good options. For example, Learn&Co – where you can find experienced and reliable tutors. They are skilled in tailoring 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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