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Which skill allows you to speak with people around the world? To work overseas? To travel? To develop excellent communication skills, empathy and creativity?

The ability to speak foreign languages!

Languages connect people, enable more career opportunities, and enrich life experiences.

Learning a foreign language can transform any career. And it will lead to amazing adventures along the way.

Specialising in languages can lead to a career travelling the globe as an interpreter, diplomat or foreign correspondent, giving you a front-row seat to watch history unfold.

Almost any career – from finance, to law to engineering – can be transformed by studying a foreign language. Even a basic understanding of a language that is important to your employer can open the door to promotions and prestigious foreign assignments.

Learning languages can be one of the most fun things you can do. You can learn Spanish by talking about football in Buenos Aires; improve your Italian by watching opera in Milan; and perfect your Chinese by exploring the spicy food of Sichuan.

Richard Bruton, the Minister for Education and Skills today (04 December 2017) launched Languages Connect – Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026 and Implementation Plan 2017-2022.

This Strategy has been developed in the context of Action 1.6 of the Department’s Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 which aims to enable learners communicate effectively and improve their standards of competence in languages and so fulfil our ambition to make Ireland’s education system the best in Europe within the next decade.

This website will serve as the vehicle to provide information on the benefits of language learning and will serve to meet one of the important goals of the strategy, which is to highlight the personal, social, professional and economic benefits of language learning.

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See more about – A window to a world of cultures

Why languages

Less than a quarter of the world speaks English. Learning languages opens doors to the other three-quarters – and a world of hidden opportunities.

The importance of non-English speaking countries is set to grow dramatically in the coming years as markets for Irish products. After Britain leaves the European Union, our non-English-speaking neighbours will become even more important. Learning their languages will allow us to take advantage of huge new opportunities.

Languages and the ability to adapt practices based upon a customer’s or business’ cultural background are set to become increasingly desirable skills as diversification of exports to other markets may be required to combat negative effects from Brexit, according to the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs report, 2018.

Language is one of the means by which we think, express our thoughts, communicate and connect with others. Studies have shown that language learning is good for your brain. Speaking more than one language can help make you a better listener, improve your creativity and help you to manage multiple tasks.

A window to a world of cultures

Languages provide a window into other cultures, making people more open-minded and sensitive to diverse cultures. In a country where the population is increasingly diverse, this will become more and more important for employers.

Languages let us see the world through the eyes of others and see opportunities that most will miss.

Learning a language encourages tolerance and empathy. Language learning helps to develop an appreciation for diversity and helps us understand people around us who are not the same as us. This all contributes to a better environment at school and in the work place.

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Did you

Only 6.5%
of the world’s population are native English speakers