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Foreign language learning

Foreign language learning

As various academic and scholarship programs are organized in different languages, the knowledge of the language of the program is an essential precondition for your application. 

This section contains information on:

Why are foreign language skills important?

(The following text is taken from the web page Kwintessential - Language & Cross Cultural Services.)

  • Educational reasons
    Learning a foreign language at the earliest possible age, from between 4 and 5 years old - that is, at nursery and primary school - opens up a whole new dimension for children: it greatly benefits their reading and writing in their own language; there's evidence that, like musical education, it contributes significantly to the development of individual intelligence; and concretely it improves overall results at school.
  • Cultural reasons
    A new language opens up a whole new culture. A foreign language gives us access to another culture, and our lives take on a new dimension. The great German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, said in 1827: "Whoever is not acquainted with foreign languages knows nothing of his own." Seen like that, learning a language is almost comparable to a journey of discovery - and if we remember the great explorers and the 18th century gentleman's grand tour, you might almost call it a British invention.

    Conversely, to lose a language is to lose a whole culture. This realisation has led to determined efforts to preserve minority languages, including, for example, in Britain, with the renaissance of the Welsh and Gaelic languages. There are similar widespread efforts in Britain to promote community languages, for example by providing application forms in Urdu or other languages. It is a fundamental truth that cultures define themselves through languages.
  • Personality
    By learning a new language, you gain new horizons, but at the same time you reinforce your own identity, and therefore also your self-confidence. A foreign language can contribute to a stronger personality. Apparently foreign languages are even an essential quality of a lover. In Shakespeare's great comedy "Twelfth Night" we hear a gentleman being praised: He plays the viol-de-gamboys, speaks 3 or 4 languages and hath all the good gifts of nature.
  • Economic reasons
    The typical profile expected from future business leaders fully reflects the demands of the globalised world. British language graduates find a good job more easily than others. Knowledge of German in particular improves one's chances on the job market. Many German companies abroad, and many foreign companies in Germany and companies with close links to German-speaking countries look for employees with language skills.
    In spite of all the current economic difficulties in Germany, we are now, thanks to the Government's reform policies, well on the way to overcoming our economic weakness. Germany is still the most important trading partner for almost all the European countries and many countries outside Europe. A person who speaks German will be able to communicate better with business partners in the world's third-biggest economy and one of the foremost exporting countries.



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