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The Value of a Modern Foreign Language

In this section you will find out the value of this subject.  How learning about it can affect your future. 

There are many reasons to learn French, including:

  • French is the language of the future.
  • French is the second most useful language in the world for business.
  • Studying French makes you smarter.
  • To get ahead in the job market.
  • To travel.

There are other benefits to learning a language too:

  • It keeps your brain healthy and sharp.
  • It can delay brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • It is the gateway to other cultures.
  • It helps communication skills like listening.
  • It makes travelling fun.
  • It makes you a better global citizen.

French is not only spoken in France. It is also spoken in:

  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Parts of Canada
  • A large number of African countries, a continent on the rise in business
  • Jobs you can do with a French qualification:

French Teacher

Understanding another language can help you teach English as a foreign language and to teach or tutor in schools and other institutions outside the UK.

International Charity Worker

Working for an international charity will often give you the opportunity to go out into the field abroad and work directly with communities, so is one of many jobs that need foreign languages.  Even if you are based in the UK, you will normally have to speak with people in local country offices over the phone, so having a second language can be crucial to getting the job done.

Fashion Buyer

Foreign language jobs include fashion retailers, who can distribute their products all over the world.  Normally their clothes and goods will be made in factories outside the UK too, so buyers and distributors for big brands will often have to deal with people internationally.  Two of the biggest global fashion events are in Paris and Milan, so having a bit of French or Italian handy can work wonders, whatever your fashion job.


Fancy working as a foreign correspondent, covering international sports events or interviewing foreign politicians? Being able to speak another language fluently will give you the chance to track down even more great stories and travel with your work.

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International law firms can have offices all over the world and will always value candidates with a second or third language.If you want to specialise in international law, speaking another language is crucial.  The United Nations, for example, has six official languages which they use in meetings and official documents – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

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Linguists are scientists who study human language, including how we develop speech, understanding and patterns of communication in different cultures.  Linguists work in all kinds of fields, from academic research – studying and preserving languages that are dying out, to tech companies – developing voice recognition technologies and artificial intelligence.

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Translators and interpreters are fluent in at least two languages.  Translators convert recorded and written materials into another language whereas interpreters do the same with live conversations, helping people who don’t share a language to understand one another. Translators and interpreters are needed everywhere, from politics to business, healthcare, media and careers in social services.

Other jobs that need a language include:

Diplomatic Service Officer

Tourist guide

Airline pilot

Air traffic controller

Airline cabin crew

Immigration officer

RAF officer