You might be at a job interview, at university, or overseas when the question comes up: 'Do you speak any other languages?'
It doesn't matter whether your answer is 'Chinese', 'French', 'Swahili' or 'Punjabi'. If you have learnt another language, you are more open to the world, and the world is more open to you. As well as being a global citizen, learning another language demonstrates skills and aptitudes that will make you far more employable in Australia and overseas.
That is why the Victorian Government's Vision for Languages Education requires all government schools to offer languages programs to all students to Year 10, as well as at least a quarter of students in Years 11 and 12, by 2025.
These commitments recognise that learning languages has many benefits.
Boost your CV
Speaking another language will help you meet the challenges of globalisation, including an increasingly multilingual jobs market. Career options extend beyond the traditional areas of interpreting and foreign affairs to journalism, aid work, engineering, business, health, science, education, technology, tourism, hospitality and the arts.
Employers in all fields value people who speak another language because they are better thinkers, better communicators and better at relating to other people.
Boost your university entrance score
Students who include a language in their VCE receive bonus points towards their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank, increasing their chance of entry to popular courses. In addition, universities and other tertiary institutes increasingly take into account second-language skills when deciding who to admit.
Open the door to new experiences
Travelling is exhilarating when you can speak the local language. Instead of getting stuck on the tourist trail, you are a participant in everyday life, and can make friends and find work more easily. Speaking the local language also enables you to understand nuances of a culture that are otherwise lost.
Boost your brainpower
Learning another language helps develop essential areas of your brain. Research shows that it also improves your memory, concentration, creativity and problem-solving skills.
Improve your English
Learning another language means more than just memorising new words. Languages all use different systems, so when you learn a language, you compare and contrast that system with English. This deepens your understanding of English and significantly improves your English language skills. It also means that you learn other new languages more easily.