Even within our 4 walls at home – the world has become large and accessible. It is no longer the reality that everyone speaks our language or everyone is from our background. The world is changing and progressing and we are more aware of globalization now more than ever. With technology developing as it is – we can be on one corner of the world communicating and doing business with someone in separate countries and different time zones. This means that many businesses are able to stretch out from those in their immediate proximity and the target audience is now international!
How does an additional language help me in my career?
Most simply – you have a skill that others around you do not have. Not only that – you will be a lot harder to replace. The most important thing about having an additional language is to think of your intention. There is no reason to think that learning Thai for example will help advance your career if you do not work for a Thai company, you aren’t planning on doing business with Thai businesses, or you aren’t planning on immigrating to Thailand (this is not saying that if you have a passion for Thai you shouldn’t learn it! Opportunity may come knocking in many ways!). You should think about what your career is – what your dream company is – and if that company is a foreign country, a foreign country, or if you know they are looking to do business with foreign companies.
Immediately this will set you out from other candidates who do not have this additional skill that could seriously help the company with many of their foreign liaisons.
What level do I need to be for it to be useful in my career?
This is more difficult to answer – most likely most companies won’t really need someone who is just conversational in a language (though the thought is always appreciated!) however – being completely native probably also isn’t extremely needed. The sweet spot would be at a high intermediate level. It would also be good (if possible) to know what sort of company you are working for. If you are working in an import or exports company, knowing vocabulary and the sort of business questions and relations required to do this job would be sort of essential knowledge to know that otherwise wouldn’t be done in a course unless explicitly requested. Let your teacher know this is the sort of field you are going into and would like to do as much vocabulary and grammar etc associated with the field you are planning to work in.
What about qualifications?
Even if you do not know the field you are going into or what to know – or even if you are learning a language just for the joy of it – You should get some sort of certification behind you to prove you are actually the level you say you are in your application. It can be very difficult to prove to potential employers that you are able to do what you say you are able to do especially if they do not speak the language themselves to “test” you.
How can this be done? Well, most simply is doing it either at school or if your tertiary education allows you to also study it. The main thing to remember here is that these qualifications may differ from international standards and may not hold the same weight as some internationally recognised qualifications.
Alternatively – Fluent Panda offers courses where you can study towards an internationally recognised exam hosted by various embassies. These courses will prepare you for these international exams. The exam is externally marked and upon passing an exam, you will be issued with a certificate that is INTERNTAIONALLY recognised and certified by the various embassies.
The test is also usually the same around the world so you will be tested at an international level.
These tests are based on different curriculums as each country follows a different curriculum. Europe follows CEFR whilst places like Japan have their own grading system known as the JLPT. Usually – there are multiple exams to take (Beginner, intermediate, advanced etc). to prove your level of fluency.
How do these exams help me?
Most notably – these exams open the door of opportunity to different countries. By passing one of these exams – you immediately have an internationally recognised qualification that is recognised WORLDWIDE – not just in one or two countries. It is an indisputable certification to prove your level in any given language.
Furthermore – the certification does not expire and can be valid throughout your life without worry of needing to renew at any point once received.
These exams are also sometimes required when applying for passports when wanting to immigrate. Including this qualification with your passport submission is sometimes required by embassies for them to have evidence of your ability in the national language of the country you are immigrating to.
These qualifications and skills do not only assist in your career but opens many international doors for general options throughout life.
How to get started?
Contact Fluent Panda for their course times and outlines. State that you are interested in taking the exam and we will help providing you with all relevant curriculum material as well as a teacher that is familiar with the exam in question and understands the different levels that have to be achieved.
Fluent Panda has over 32 languages on offer – guaranteeing something for everyone and helping pave the way for future careers!