Jobs tend to require a high level in the language so it’s not closely a case of being able to say, “I want to do this job, so I’ll start learning a language now and send out my resume in a few months’ time”. It takes a lot of time and perseverance to reach a professional level (just like anything practice will help you to master your target language.)
So, this will be something for you to think about if you’re not there yet or to consider if you’re already at a high level.
If you’re making a new decision on a foreign language to study for a career and want it to be worth something to you in the future, stop and think about whether it will be sought-after a few years down the track.
If you want to stand out from the rest then consider studying a language that few others undertake (Flemish for example, Languages like Arabic and Mandarin Chinese are and will continue to be more required as economic power shifts over the coming years.).
Or consider an endangered language and help keep dying languages alive by bringing attention to their cause while increasing your own appeal to employers.
If the employer is advertising a role that requires dealing with the public (think government roles) they’ll generally look at your foreign languages favourably for this reason.
Principally for those from the USA, Australia and the UK where monolingualism is much more the norm than other English-speaking countries it’s fast becoming the case where multilingualism is now expected in many roles. Remember, any time you apply for a job, make sure you can tell a story about your career that shows why you would be the best person for the job.
Employers have many reasons for needing language skills. They may be buying from or selling to overseas markets, moving goods internationally, supporting customers and their own employees in different countries or they may have a multinational workforce and need to recruit staff with good language and cultural skills. Additional languages help companies to expand their business into emerging markets.
Many companies recruit multilingual customer service advisers who act as a first point of contact for customers around the world. The gaming industry recruit’s localisation testers with language skills who perform quality assurance tests. They check the text in games and printed material for context and cultural relevancy, grammar and spelling for the markets the games are sold to.
Languages can be useful for the transport, logistics and distribution sector, which offers the possibility of roles in areas such as import/export and international logistics. Supply chain management for some multinational corporations could involve overseas postings.
If you are considering self-employment, then language skills and an understanding of different cultures can help with new business ideas, such as developing new products or services.
For a trademark attorney, having modern languages may increase chances of getting into this role. Working for the European Patent Office would require knowledge of some European languages.
Global accountancy practices with international clients would benefit from employees with linguistic ability. Many larger insurance companies have overseas departments. Once graduates have undertaken professional qualifications, overseas jobs may be possible.
In the museums sector, some areas will require languages, for example, the European Parliament recruits for curators, museum educators and conservators for the House of European History. Knowledge of more than one EU language may be required.
We hope this give you a scope of the amazing world of opportunities speaking.partners has to offer. Be aware you may be able to learn, network, coach, earn.
Here are a few tips that can help make your Skype call much more effective:
Tip 1: Open Your Mouth!
The best way to make the most of your Skype language practice is to open your mouth and speak! Enjoy getting to know someone from the other side of the planet.
It’s amazing when you think about how technology is brings this world closer together. Thanks to this amazing software called Skype, you no longer need to travel thousands of miles to converse with a native speaker!
Tip 2: Use Video, Not Just Voice
To make sure your Skype call is as effective as possible, try to have a video call.
“Can’t I just have a voice call?” you might ask, and sure, while that is technically possible, I highly recommend you arrange a video call with your native speaker.
Over 90% of communication is nonverbal, so body language can play a big part of getting your point across, or understanding what the other person is saying.
Seeing the person also gets you used to observing cultural cues that people use when speaking in that language. How someone uses their hands or shows emotion on their face can vary from culture to culture. Seeing it first hand will give you insight into the cultural nuances of how people communicate.
Tip 3: Try the Bingo! Strategy
Another way to make the most of your call is use the “Bingo” strategy, which my partner Frank came up with. Essentially, Frank has a list of possible things to say, and plays a bingo game with himself to try and practise all the phrases on the list. If she does this, it’s Bingo! For each phrase she uses it gets ticked off the list. (You can read all about it on her 2 Week Russian language study update here.)
Tip 4: Use Technology to Your Advantage
Try recording your Skype conversation to review later on. (To do this, always get permission first from your teacher, and don't share the video unless you get permission for that, too).
If you record your session, you'll be able to look back and figure out that word you didn't understand, or watch again to remember all the words you wanted to say but didn't know how. This way, you'll be better prepared for next time.
You can also ask your teacher to incorporate Google Doc documentation, screen sharing, or other technologies into your lessons.
Tip 5: Review Your Notes After the Call
Lastly, don't close your computer the moment your Skype call ends.
Instead, spend an extra ten minutes looking back at the notes in the Skype chat box. What words did your teacher type out that you didn't know? What new phrases should you add to your study list? Were there any conversation topics that you struggled with during the conversation?
This “debriefing” time is so important to make sure that everything you just learned doesn't get lost, but gets reincorporated into your study strategy.
Now, I know that so many of you have still been procrastinating on using your languages on Skype. What's been holding you back? When will you pull the trigger?
When you attend a language school or learn a new languager, there are many benefits of having a friend or partner who speaks that native language. Learning goes far outside the classroom, and there are so many ways to progress your skills that are fun and easy. Why have a speaking partner?
You’ll have someone who can help with common mistakes. Those who have spoken the language all their lives are very familiar with the language, and can more easily identify mistakes and help you correct them.
There are so many topics you can discuss that aren’t only learning experiences, but interesting and educational. From the nation’s economy or cooking to various business topics, politics, or even football – no topic is off limits!
A speaking partner can keep things exciting. You don’t want to talk about the same things over and over again, and someone with a creative imagination can keep things fun. It’s important to have interesting or entertaining topics to discuss with your partner. From the latest movies to fashion or sports, imagine the language skills you’ll develop by scheduling regular sessions with a native English speaker!
Whether you’re a beginner or at a more intermediate or advanced stage in learning, your speaking partner is highly capable when it comes to communication and can communicate with you at any level – their patience is without boundaries, so you don’t have to feel like you’re being rushed.
Your partner’s objective should be to help you reach your goals. When you don’t understand something, your partner will explain it or give you an example. Have questions? Ask. A speaking partner will give you lots of encouragement and inspiration, making your desire to learn even greater.
You can imagine how helpful it would be to engage in communication sessions with a speaking partner, rather than someone who speaks your own language and is only a bit more skilled in that language than you are. It’s a huge benefit!
Speaking.Partners is geared toward learners of every age. Learn for your career, for general communication, or to become a Partner yourself - the possibilities are endless.