language express

take the free linguistic ride

languages for jobs

With the economic crisis in the spotlight, job-seekers are said to have an advantage if they master foreign languages. Nothing new so far, the European Commission has played this tune for some years now trying to influence more and more Europeans to learn other languages by linking financial comfort to multilingualism. I’ve seen the shift from multilingualism-for-cultural-understanding to multilingualism-for-money-making in recent years, which is not necessarily a bad PR campaign. The only downside is that this approach favours English once again and there is less incentive to learn other European languages when money is in play.

The Hamburg Express uses some well-known European statistics to promote English language learning, but there are so many missing elements in the picture: we learn languages because it’s fun, it’s challenging and rewarding, and we learn so much about ourselves on the way. If we only see language learning as an investment in financial terms, we’ll soon go blind.


July 7, 2009 - Posted by | applied linguistics, education, language policy and planning

1 Comment »

  1. Great to see you blogging again! And it’s all great content presented in an excellent style. I like it.

    Regarding the shift towards multilingualism-for-money-making, I think it might sadly be part of a greater shift towards everything-for-money-making. Education is not valued if it doesn’t produce results that can be measured in monetary terms.

    Comment by Ralel | July 7, 2009 | Reply

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