Ingrid Synwoldt – Senior School Learning Area Leader
Chinese and German, the languages offered at Cornerstone, are two of the five most sought after second languages in Australia (Yun, 9 March 2020).
From a career perspective, many people think that learning a language only enables you to become a teacher or interpreter/translator, but other areas benefitting from knowledge of another language include social work, customer service, tourism, media, foreign relations/diplomacy, healthcare, engineering and many more. Some government and non-government organisations jobs also require knowledge of a foreign language.
Knowing an additional language besides English can open doors in terms of future employment. The Australian Careers Service lists the following reasons for having a language on your CV (summarised here):
You will stand out from the crowd
Many students opt out early on, but those who continue their language learning demonstrate commitment and flexibility, which is looked upon favourably by employers.
Global companies will be interested in you
International companies operating in Australia love to employ people who speak their language. Australian companies also often require workers to travel overseas, explore new business opportunities or greet overseas visitors.
Boosts your confidence
Learning a language improves general speech and presentation skills in your foreign language, as well as your native language. In-country experiences accelerate this further.
Memory and multitasking skills
You will develop a strong working memory through the repetition and consolidation of new knowledge, as well as sharper mental processes as you switch between languages.
Cultural awareness and the ability to communicate well and solve problems are essential skills in the 21st century. These skills are developed in Chinese and German language lessons at Cornerstone.
If your child enjoys learning German or Chinese, encourage them to keep their options open by continuing to learn the language as they progress through high school. The exchange opportunities in the senior years offer amazing in-country experiences. Adding a language to your career direction can literally take you to places you have never dreamed of.