‘Knowing various languages makes you more employable’
SENIOR School students of Jerudong International School (JIS) were briefed on the advantages of learning more than one language during a recent talk delivered by Canadian High Commissioner Marina Laker (pic) at the school.
Laker, who speaks English, French, German and Greek, said that being able to communicate in various languages was an asset, and drew on her own experiences in using the different languages during her various tenures as a Canadian envoy in different parts of the world.
Laker was speaking as part of JIS’s weekly “Lunchtime Lecture” series, held every Wednesday at the school.
This week’s lecture was held in conjunction with the ‘European Day of Languages’, which falls annually on September 26.
Speaking to the students, the Canadian high commissioner emphasised that being able to speak different languages would give one an advantage over the competition, when it came to job hunting “in today’s globalised world”.
She urged the students to “take advantage” of the languages they already knew or were learning, when considering their career goals.
Laker also said that knowing different languages enables a person to learn more about other cultures and better appreciate them.
“It allows you a window in other people’s worlds,” she said.
“It leads to more tolerance and less racism, which makes for a more tolerant and harmonised society,” Laker said.
Being able to speak more than one language was also “good for the brain”, making one a better critical thinker and problem-solver, as well as a better listener, she said.
“Be proud of your linguistic heritage, never let anybody make you feel bad about the languages you speak at home.”
She also recommended for students to try and practise languages they knew as much as possible, pointing out that they can “go dormant” if unused.
According to a JIS representative, languages currently offered as subjects at the school include Malay, Mandarin, Spanish, French and Urdu.