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Modern Languages

Foreign Language Study

The Spring 2012 Alumni Career Panel participants made the following suggestions to prospective modern language graduates. 

  • Getting in to language study was a fortunate accident.

  • Life is hard – language study can help you to adapt to and cope with life’s hard times.

  • Speaking a foreign language is my secret weapon – something as simple as listening to a French song can transport me to France in my head and empower me by helping me realize all that I have achieved to be able to understand the lyrics, and this experience makes me feel that I can overcome any daily difficulties that I am facing.

  • Try to understand the world from other perspectives to better understand yourself. Language study can provide you with opportunities for personal growth and self-examination that may help you develop a unique perspective about the way that the world works.

  • Study of a first foreign language prepares you to study other languages, but also prepares you in a special way to tackle unexpected challenges in your professional and personal life.

  • Language study can help you bring together things that you need and things that you love, maybe even your other half.

  • Foreign language study has made me more accepting of others and open to various situations, it teaches you to learn how to interact with people who are from different cultures.

  • Be mindful of your limitations.

  • Take advantage of every chance you can to use the language you have acquired through your studies. If you do not have the opportunity to speak the foreign language you studied at work, try joining a club or association in your area. As you already know, perfecting a language requires lots of time and practice. If you get away from it, it will eventually come back, but you need to very work hard to bring it back.

  • Read, watch movies, travel frequently, stay connected with friends overseas through Skype and other communication technologies, be prepared to make and take opportunities to practice your language skills.