Never before, has a sound knowledge of languages been so important for finding a decent job. It is probably the first question they ask you if you apply for one. Someone who knows different languages will be preferred to someone with a more limited command of languages. If a person applies for a job in which it is very important to operate or programme a computer, he may have acquired that knowledge and those skills, but still someone else who knows more languages will be preferred. That means it is important that people start learning languages very early in their lives.
In Flanders, we have a long-standing reputation of fluency in languages. Most people are able to understand a few foreign languages. But when you ask them to talk in a foreign language, they often have problems. They feel uncertain when they have to write or speak in that foreign language. In other words, there is a lack of fluency in language skills. Even if someone chooses to study mathematics or science, languages should always be taught at a high level, even though there might be a lack of interest on the part of the student.
Worldwide there are over fifty standard written languages and over three thousand different languages in sum. In the European Union there are no less than eleven different official languages, and more will be added when other countries join the EU. No ordinary inhabitant of the Union, though, will ever bother about speaking all of these (more or less) fluently. S...
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...h. I think that would be an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience. After I have lived there for a few years I would like to come back to Belgium and become a teacher. I always knew I wanted to become a teacher because I like to work with young people. In my opinion, it is very important that youngsters get a good education. Teaching keeps you young yourself, at least your mind, and it can also be a very satisfactory job.
All those arguments made it very easy for me to decide what I was going to study, in fact, I already knew several years ago. Studying Germanic languages at a large university like the VUB gives me the opportunity to communicate with hundreds of foreign students and this will certainly open and broaden my mind. And if, after you finish your studies, you want to teach English, as I do, there will definitely be a lot of work for you to do.
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