When I was at School it was compulsory to do a foreign language from year 7. I chose French and dabbled in a bit of German when I was in year 9. For my GCSE I got a B in French which I was utterly impressed with because I never really thought I was any good. I just don’t pick them up very easily as there are so many rules to learn which in reality are similar to rules in the English language but I have been learning those since I was born!
Every word that comes out of Spud and Spike’s mouths shock me. It only feels like yesterday that they were my tiny babies that could do nothing but cry but they have been soaking things up ever since. Spud now says things completely in context and I am astonished by how much he has learnt. Since falling pregnant with him I have heard a lot about the benefits of teaching him a second language as children pick them up a lot easier than us and it becomes second nature to them much like speaking English is to me. There are so many children’s programs that promote this and Spud is constantly counting in Spanish to me thanks to Handy Manny and Dora the Explorer. I always thought that being bilingual would confuse a child but it would appear not.
Knowing another language seems to be a skill that people will need to know in the future so I really should be encouraging them. I am lucky if I need to know another language if shopping on European
websites that my web browser has a translate option but even the basics that I learnt for my GCSE seem to have been forgotten. Lots of jobs nowadays seem to be asking for second languages as well so it really does seem to be something I have to do. Surprisingly, there isn’t such a demand for straight up translators. Most translations companies do specialist translations like financial translations or technical translations so maybe the way forward is to get them learning languages alongside whatever subjects the love (for example business or ICT) so there is an option to become a specialist translator. Or if not I’m sure languages will come in handy if they want to become Doctors or Scientists!