I remember a group of teenage students were complaining about their state school classes. “Why do we need to study art?” “Music class is useless.” “How are these classes going to help me find a job?” “They’re a waste of time.” These were some of the comments coming from them. When you ask a young person why they are studying English, many will say, “It will open doors for me in the future.”
I asked them, “Then how are you supposed to develop your creativity?” They answered that if they wanted to be a computer programmer, a chemist or a psychologist, they didn’t need creativity to get a job. That is when I had to interject with a sounding, “You’re wrong.”
Some may view school as a means of learning subjects such as maths, language, history, chemistry, etc. to acquire gainful employment when one becomes an adult. However, problems can be applying one’s knowledge creatively. It is what separates an individual from the rest of the job candidates who also studied maths, languages, history and chemistry.
Sometimes this idea that some subjects have less value than others extends to languages, particularly among English speakers. After all, why should they study another language?
Jane Shilling has written an article in the Telegraph, which shows that this attitude is not only erroneous but also puts monoglots at a disadvantage. So, before you cast off studying languages because you think you won’t need them, please read the article.
Nancy Lee, responsable del Servei d’Idiomes d’UManresa