Beyond School

This section looks at why students should consider continuing their language studies beyond school.

Why languages?

"Language competence is far more than just another tool in the box; it is a prerequisite and a facilitator for the development of a wide spectrum of other skills and attributes."

(British Council, 2017)


Read about successful people in the business and sporting worlds and find out why they consider that learning a language is really important.

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SCILT has pulled together the most recent research supporting language skills in Business.

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Other benefits

Learning other languages has cognitive benefits for learners of all ages.

  • You become smarter
  • You build multitasking skills
  • You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Your memory improves
  • You become more perceptive
  • Your decision-making skills improve
  • You improve your English

Taken from Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism (Telegraph, 19 June 2013)

Research suggests that age shouldn’t put you off learning a new language. Bilingualism Matters at Edinburgh University recently conducted research that suggests learning a second language can bring cognitive benefits in later life – even when that second language is acquired in adulthood (Speaking two languages may slow brain aging).

Further research highlights the possible cognitive benefits of speaking more than one language, including delayed onset of dementia symptoms and slower cognitive decline in older adults. These new findings suggest that you don’t have to speak a second language from a very young age in order to reap the benefits (Late language learners show improved mental agility).

Read more:

Am I too old to learn a new language? (Guardian, 13 September 2015)

Are children really better at foreign language learning? (Telegraph, 18 September 2013)

Useful websites

Why it is so important for students to study languages at all levels. A list of articles and useful links from the Association for Language Learning (ALL).

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Information booklet provided by Routes into Languages Cymru.

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Written by undergraduates to provide straightforward and relevant information about studying languages, linguistics and cultural studies at university.

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Spanish at university

Listen to an audio presentation from students who have studied Spanish alongside other subjects as part of their degree courses via the link above. 

What's it like to study a modern languages degree?

Are modern language degrees becoming obsolete? Absolutely not, say the four modern languages students interviewed for Times Higher Education (THE) in February 2017. Click on the link above to read about their experiences.

Study languages at university

University of East Anglia has made some videos about studying languages at university available on YouTube.

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages