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Importance Of Learning A Foreign Language For College Students

Oct 13, 2017 15:40 IST
Advantages of learning foreign language for Indian Students
Advantages of learning foreign language for Indian Students

College life opens a plethora of opportunities for students. It's a place where you are free to experiment, learn new things, gain knowledge and pave your path to a successful future. In the three to four years spent in college, one gains not just formal education but also gets equipped with a valuable skill set from activities both within and outside the college.

Learning a foreign language is one such trend that has seen a tremendous rise amongst Indian students in the last few years. More and more universities are offering courses in various languages to students enrolled with them. Generally, these courses are conducted on weekends to allow for maximum student participation. In addition to this, a lot private institute have also opened up to help students enroll and learn foreign languages. Some of these institutes are even recommended by the native country's embassy.

Foreign Language Courses Popular Amongst Students

Spanish, German, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese are the languages that have gained a lot of attraction and momentum amongst the Indian student community. Other popular languages are Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic and Korean. Languages like Spanish, French and German share a lot of similarities with the English language. For someone with a good command over English, learning these languages wouldn't be much effort. On the other hand languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean are a different story altogether as they have a language root completely different from the ones that Indians are used to. However, learning a new language shouldn't just be about learning to write and speak in it. It should also be about understanding the cultures and traditions of the countries native to these languages.

But what are the benefits of learning a foreign language? And why should a student invest in extra coursework? Here are some of the reasons why a college student should learn a foreign language.

Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

1. Enhances Employability

Knowledge of a foreign language is an added advantage for students at the time of placements. It adds another feather in their cap and tips the scales in their favor at times of interview. In today's time companies and especially MNC's prefer students with multilingual skills. Great proficiency in language skills also open up opportunities for global workplaces.

2. Networking

A foreign language class is a great place for building one's network. As the class attracts people from varied backgrounds. Students get a chance to interact with fellow students from different courses, exchange knowledge base and pick up new skills. A place like this fosters cross-cultural experience and a better understanding of the world around us.

3. Creativity

Learning a new language inspires creativity in students. The coursework of a language course includes not just learning the grammar, vocab and other language aspects. But, it also encourages the students to understand the culture and traditions of the native country. They are encouraged to indulge in media entertainment in that particular language, such as listening to music, watching movies and reading books etc.

Some of the other benefits of learning a foreign language are multi-tasking for when you learn a new language your skills to multi-task improves. Also, studies have shown that people who learn new languages are more aware of their surroundings and are more perceptive and open to change than their counterparts.

Different Course Levels Offered in Foreign Languages

Online Courses

There are a variety of free online courses, including massive open online courses or MOOCs. MOOCs allow for students to take up free online language courses from reputed institutions across the world. Some MOOC websites like coursera also offer a certificate to students upon successful completion of course. 

Another option is popular websites like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. Duolingo is a self-paced online language course website where users earn points and advance to higher levels as they progress. They can also compare results with their friends and chat with bots to simulate real-life situations. Off course nothing can beat having a proper tutor and class experience. But if for some reason you can't attend a class then platforms like these are a great option to kick start your language learning process.

There is also a range of paid online language courses. Such courses although might not provide any academic qualification for your money but they sure do offer advanced lessons and greater interaction. For example, Fluencia provides 15 Spanish lessons for free and then charges $7 to $15 for either monthly, half-yearly or yearly programs.

One of the oldest and most common online language software used by people is Rosetta Stone. It is available for online learners, primary and secondary school students and college instructors. Rosetta Stone uses speech recognition technology enabling its learners to actually communicate instead of just completing simple drills and translation exercises.  

Certificate Level Courses

Certificate courses in language are short-term courses offered by both private institutes and universities. These courses usually last for a few months period with class schedules offered for both weekdays and weekends.

Institutes offering Certificate Level Language Courses in India

Embassy Certified Institutes 

1. Instituto Cervantes - For Spanish

2. Max Muller Bhavan - For German

3. Alliance Francaise - For French

4. India China Chamber of Commerce & Industry  - For Chinese

Universities and Colleges

1. Delhi University

2. Jawaharlal Nehru University (School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies)

3. Pune University (Department of Foreign Languages)

4. I.P. College for Women, Delhi University

5. Amity School of Foreign Languages

Degree Level Courses

A lot of colleges and universities in India also offer a full-time degree course in the various foreign language. These courses are a complete one to three-year course depending upon your choice of degree. Degrees offered, vary from Diploma, Advanced Diploma, B.A (Prog), B.A. (Hons), M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D. courses. 

Universities offering Degree Level Courses   

1. Delhi University

2. Jawaharlal Nehru University (School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies)

3. Pune University (Department of Foreign Languages)

4. Banaras Hindu University (Department of Foreign Languages)

5. Jamia Millia Islamia University

6. Amity School of Foreign Languages

7. CIEFL Hyderabad

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