It’s been 10 days since Britain left the European Union and there were mixed emotions across the nation. Amongst the huge celebrations, there were also tears for many reasons. From an economic perspective, there were concerns surrounding the impact of business, trade and the education sector.
The focus for My Language Lab was mainly in relation to the education sector and modern foreign languages, long before the withdrawal agreement was even passed. Record numbers of teacher shortages and a no-vote for continuing with the Erasmus student exchange programme were just some of the negative issues of Brexit. None of it seemed fair to our students.
Here at My Language Lab, we’re seeing the positives from a largely negative situation. We’re taking a stance on what learning languages is really about. Languages are an asset, a commodity that’s worthy in its own right, a skill set that can take someone from A to B. The scarcer a commodity, the more valuable it becomes. Our students are beginning to see that languages are necessary and by obtaining these skills they can stand out from the crowd.
Let’s say you have ten candidates all applying for the same job at a UK based company and all sharing similar skill sets that meet the job requirements. If one of the candidates from that shortlist speaks one or more languages, you can bet that person will stand a better chance of landing that job compared to the rest. It’s a reality that our students are beginning to see, which motivates them to improve every day.
For us, teaching languages is what we do best and we’ve already seen first hand how far someone can go in life by learning a new language. As time goes on we’ll be interested to see how leaving the EU will affect people learning languages and businesses that require their employees to speak a foreign language.
We know how difficult learning a new language can be. We’ve seen examples where life gets in the way or there’s a change in circumstance, which can cause students to give up. Sure, they’re challenging, take a ton of commitment and you have to work to see results but in the end, they’re absolutely valuable.
We say keep it up and take it as far as you can. Why? Simply put, not everyone is learning this specific skill set that you have. A skill set that allows you to easily communicate with other people, travel the world and land that dream job. Keep it up and it will be worth it in the end!
Watch here as director Drew discusses her post-Brexit thoughts.