Secondary school students are being urged to protect their career prospects against Brexit by studying foreign languages under a new campaign starting this week.
Nearly 5,000 pupils from 70 schools in Ireland are taking part in the #ThinkLanguages 2020 event, billed as the country’s biggest foreign languages celebration event.
Karen Ruddock, director of Post Primary Languages Ireland, said Brexit means it is imperative that Irish people become better users of foreign languages.
“While they could previously rely on trading with the UK, they can no longer do so. If they want to adapt to the new world and sell in other countries, they have to learn the languages spoken in other countries. other countries,” she said.
“Everyone talks about the importance of Stem topics but you can’t access Stem markets without a foreign language.”
She said the aim of the #ThinkLanguages event is to make transition year students aware of the “absolute relevance and necessity of having a foreign language to open doors to more opportunities. in their life”.
Ms Ruddock said we need to look beyond the traditional French-mainly offer and expand the language offers available to students.
This week’s mostly online event, for example, offers workshops in Mandarin Chinese, Polish, and Portuguese.
Schools also have access to virtual lectures and workshops ranging from Spanish flamenco dancing and Portuguese capoeira to Italian cuisine and Danish design.
Additionally, many schools are creating their own events bringing in guest speakers to talk about the importance of languages in their lives, while some have students from non-Irish backgrounds teach their native language this week.
Education Minister Norma Foley said the theme of this year’s event – ‘think global, act local’ – was highly relevant in a year when we have all come to realize the importance of communicating with our fellow citizens of the world.
“Take some time today to reflect on the languages around you – in your school, in your community,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to learn a few words from a friend or neighbour, find out what languages they speak and a bit about them too.”
Ms Ruddock said it was an important time for transition year students who are now considering what they will study for their Leaving Cert and beyond.[bearingtimefortransitionyearstudentswhonowconsideringwhattheywillstudyfortheirLeavingCertandbeyond[portanttimefortransitionyearstudentswhonowconsideringwhattheywillstudyfortheirLeavingCertandbeyond
“By showing them the benefits foreign language skills bring to their lives and careers, we encourage them to maintain their foreign languages and perhaps even adopt another language for the Leaving Certificate,” she said. declared. “#ThinkLanguages is a different language course – it should open students’ minds and bring many different aspects of languages to life.”