Do you need 700 reasons why you should learn a language?

For anyone who isn’t sure why you should learn a language or want to inform others of its importance the Centre for Languages, Lingustics and Area Studies or LLAS are building a data base with reasons and supporting information e.g. quotes or literary references to support this.

Find it at www.llas.ac.uk/700reasons

Here are a few.

Reason: 61Language learners can acquire the skills of critical analysis of stereotypes and prejudice in texts they read or seeReference:Byram, M., Gribkova, B., Starkey, H. (2002) Developing the Intercultural Dimension in Language Teaching: A Practical Introduction for Teachers (Strasbourg: Council of Europe)Related Keywords:Critical thinking, Values

Reason: 65High level plurilinguals as a group do better than corresponding monolinguals on tests measuring aspects of intelligence, creativity, divergent thinking, cognitive flexibility etc.Reference:Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2002) Why should linguistic diversity be maintained and supported in Europe? Some arguments (Strasbourg: Council of Europe)Related Keywords:Academic skills, Creativity, Critical thinking, Learning, Multilingualism

Reason: 86One in every five British exporters (Statistics from Metra Martech) knows it is losing overseas business through its inability to overcome language and cultural differencesReference:Stevick, L. (2003) BCC Language Survey: The Impact of Foreign Languages on British Business – Part 1: The Qualitative Results (British Chambers of Commerce, November 2003)Related Keywords:Business

Reason: 87
Most businesses agree that their own business dealings are not significantly affected by lack of language skills, but there is widespread acknowledgment that it would certainly be ‘nice’ to be able to speak foreign languages and would likely be seen as a great compliment to their customers
Reference:
Stevick, L. (2003) BCC Language Survey: The Impact of Foreign Languages on British Business – Part 1: The Qualitative Results (British Chambers of Commerce, November 2003)
Related Keywords:
Business, Values
Reason: 20The ability to speak the language of another community provides an instrument which allows access to their culture; conversely, if other communities can speak your language, they have a powerful tool for accessing your communityReference:Willis, J. (2003) Foreign Language Learning and Technology in England from the 17th to 21st Centuries (a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the examination for PhD in the Department of Education at the University of Surrey)Related Keywords:Culture, Equality (equal opportunities)