Languages and the Big Wide World

One of the fantastic things about getting to do this blog and getting students (past and present) to write for it, is that you get a chance to find out more about the students, their motivation, their enthusiasm for languages… things you don’t always get a chance to explore in the classroom context with the focus on seminar preparation and participation and, inevitably, assessment. So, taking full advantage of the fact that many of those who’re about to graduate in French are still in or around Stirling, soaking up the last days and weeks of being a student, it’s been good to get a chance to post some more of their articles. This particular piece has been written by Stephanie Rogers who will be graduating in June with a BA Hons in French and Spanish and who gives a great and wide-ranging answer to the ‘why study languages’ question:

2016 Rogers Picture V May

“People often ask me, “What are you going to do with a language degree- why bother studying languages?” I usually just reply, “Well, why not?” But really, I have a lot of reasons. I have been studying languages since I started High School, but back then I was studying German. I could write a foot-long monologue on why you should study German, but I’ll cut it down to three simple points: it makes sense; they have single words for concepts which other languages require full descriptions; and it’s useful- if you speak German well, not only are its native speakers really impressed, but it puts you a step ahead in many business roles. Also, none of this nonsense that it doesn’t sound nice, just listen to Morgan Freeman speak German.

I’m soon graduating in French and Spanish, and these have been great languages to study, with rich histories and interesting cultures. I have met so many lovely people through travelling and studying abroad in France and Spain, and used these foreign languages as a lingua franca with people who don’t speak English. If you speak even a few words of a different language, it opens so many doors for you: being able to communicate with someone you otherwise couldn’t have- this is a brilliant feeling.

The best thing about studying and learning languages is what it does for you as a person. Your character develops as you meet new people and you learn how they express themselves. I started Stirling as a shy, quiet girl, but my degree and the experiences I’ve had over the past four years has made me more out-going, and given me some great friendships, and now I can confidently go out in to the big wide world. If I get lost, I know how to ask for directions.” 2016 Rogers Picture I May

2016 Rogers Picture II MayMany, many thanks to Stephanie for this blog article and best wishes for the future!