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Robyn Lady shares advice on college & career planning, as well as the story of an alumna whose Spanish skills now make all the difference!
Student Success Stories
Scholarships, fellowships & international internships: See how these students Lead with Languages.
Why Learn Languages
Middle & High School
Students who invest in a language during the critical middle and high school years boost their prospects for success whether they aspire to pursue higher education or to enter the workforce upon graduation. Take a look at the benefits below, and see what has everyone talking.
Increase Your Confidence and Sense of Personal Achievement
Learning another language is an accomplishment of which you can and should be proud! Not only will it help you to develop intellectually and emotionally, but it will make you a better communicator, empower you to reach your goals, and boost your self-esteem.
Improve Your Prospects for College Admission
Languages are a fantastic skill to have on your application. College admissions officers also like the focus and drive of students who have invested in learning another language over several years or more.
Boost Your Career Prospects
Language skills will give you a serious competitive edge in the job market, whether college is in your plans or not. Languages are among the top eight skills required of all occupations—no matter the sector or skill level—and in big demand in the government, private and non-profit sectors.
Serve Your Country
The U.S. Military, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and agencies such as the CIA, FBI, and NSA all have a huge demand for language skills, with many offering scholarships for language students who want to pursue a career in government. And for non-college bound students with language skills, the military offers a wide variety of opportunities.
Feed Your Brain
Bilinguals have better problem-solving skills, as well as improved memory, concentration, and mental flexibility. Students who pursue language studies also tend to score better on standardized tests and benefit from academic progress in other subjects. What’s not to love?!
Travel to New Heights
Traveling as a speaker of the local language can revolutionize a trip abroad. You can more easily navigate outside the tourist bubble and have deeper connections and understanding with a country, its people and culture.
Become a More Empathetic and Thoughtful Person
Speaking another language is the most direct link to another culture. It allows you to gain cultural understanding and deep insights into how other people see the world. That kind of perspective is an amazing asset to have.
Have Some Fun—Really!
Learning any language requires time and effort, but that doesn’t mean that it should be viewed as a chore. Learning a language—and especially using it in real situations—can be a lot of fun. The use of technology and social media, both in and outside the classroom, is another reason students are loving languages!
Stand Out from the Crowd
While language skills are in big demand, did you know that less than ten percent of Americans speak another language? Becoming proficient in another language means you’ll stand out—in your career, among your friends, the people you meet, and in your community.
Start Early, Stay Long!
The earlier you begin, the more you will be able to complete a long, uninterrupted sequence of instruction—the ideal way to become proficient in another language. So, go for it! Learn and Lead with Languages!
What You Can Do
Some steps you can take to become proficient in another language include:
- Enroll in a language class at school.
- Already enrolled? You’re ahead! Stay the course and continue beyond any requirements.
- Looking for another language not offered at your school? Take an afterschool program or work with a tutor.
- Go tech! Discover language learning apps as well as online platforms that connect you with other students—and tutors—who speak your target language.
- Enroll in a language summer program or camp.
- Join a language club at school. Don’t have a club? Take the initiative and start one!
- If you’re lucky to have native speakers of your target language at school… speak with them!
- Discover and enjoy music, film, or web videos in your second language.