Mark Ransley

Founder and Director, EEC-ITIS Malta

Mark Ransley is Founder and Director of EEC-ITIS Malta Tourism and Languages Institute.

Languages – The Key To Thriving In The 21st Century

Friday 07th September 2018

Imagine the things you would do, if you could at least master another language.

The chances are that most probably you have already thought about this more than once throughout your career. However, you have somehow convinced yourself that it’s too late, not necessary, you’re too busy or too old for a new language.

I’ve yet to hear a single good reason for not learning a new language. In an increasingly globalised and rapidly changing world characterised by changing technology, robotisation and automation, it is easy to assume that focusing on technical skills is the way forward. If that’s so, then you may be doing it wrong.

As the world becomes more globalised and the global economy changes, so does the labour market and work systems. India has just surpassed France as the world’s sixth-largest economy. China and Latin America are emerging as crucial players within the international business scene. What does this mean in relative terms? It means that learning how to embrace new cultures and mastering new languages needs to be your top priority. ASAP.

A world of job opportunities awaits you!

More companies than ever are going global and doing business in more than one location. This means that they’re looking for globally-minded people who can master languages fast to meet their needs.

Even SMEs and start-ups are more likely to hire people who can speak more than one foreign language. As economies become more intertwined and dependent upon each other, knowing how to deal with an international clientele is an asset.

It’s time to polish your soft skills

Very often we’re told that the best time to master a language is during your early years. It’s time to bust that myth. Learning new languages improves your attention, memory, communication skills and teamwork skills. It helps to polish your soft skills, no matter how old you are. And that’s what we’re looking for in the 21st century.

The key to get out of your comfort zone

Language and culture are strongly intertwined. If English is your native language, the chances are that you can get by your entire life because a large portion of the rest of the world makes an effort to accommodate you and speak your language.

But have you ever wondered about the cultural opportunities you’re missing? Mastering a language means that you’re opening doors to new authentic cultural experiences, traditions, philosophies and a whole new world of people. It means you’re broadening not only your linguistic knowledge but also your emotional intelligence. The world is your oyster. You only need to learn how to speak the languages of its peoples.

Languages help you understand your inner self

There’s been a lot of debate and research about how languages can help to boost emotional intelligence and improve our decision-making skills. As humans, we’re naturally inclined to be emotional and sometimes resort to hasty decisions.

If you learn a second language, by the time you master it, you’re more likely to be able to think and process a range of concepts in that language. Latest research on the topic reveals that when you make a decision in your second language you’re more likely to think logically and avoid basing your decision on emotion. How is this possible? Studies show that when you think things through in a foreign language, you eliminate the emotional bias that tends to cloud your judgement and therefore resort to more logical methods. So what are you waiting for?