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A sure shot to success

Knowledge of a foreign tongue has almost become an essential qualification for moving up the ladder



Value-addition: Learning a foreign language is certain to give you that extra edge.

More and more students are evincing interest in learning a foreign language. The reason — knowledge of local languages is far from being adequate, whether for higher education or for job prospects in a globalised world.

Cutting across academic disciplines, students have started to realise the advantage of learning at least one foreign language in the recent years.

For many, knowledge of a foreign language is an “extra asset,” especially when it comes to employment avenues.

While French is the favourite for many students, languages including German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Russian also find several takers.

A cross-section of senior academicians feel multi-lingual skills are imperative for students in the presentday scenario. For Sanjeevkumar Sirnoorkar, a student of MBA Tourism who has learnt basic French as part of the curriculum, it is always advantageous for students of tourism to learn one or two foreign languages, especially French and Japanese. Fluent in a number of Indian languages, Sirnoorkar finds French to be a vibrant language and loves the intonation.

“We are placed in tour operations, travel agencies and hotels. A lot of foreign tourists are visiting India. Though English is spoken widely, knowledge of a foreign language will facilitate better communication with them. If time permits, I would like to learn more languages,” he says.

Several students of engineering, medicine, tourism, international studies and social work are keen on learning a foreign language. “Besides French and German, Chinese and Japanese languages are gaining popularity now. Multi-lingual skills are the need of the hour,” believes Y. Venkata Rao, Reader in Tourism, Pondicherry University.

G. S. Sowmyan, a student who has learnt four levels of French, considers French and German essential for travel anywhere around the world.

According to Michel Houdayer, Director of Alliance Francaise-Pondicherry, knowledge of foreign languages is crucial to fetching job opportunities.

“More and more companies including call centres, banking companies are looking for candidates with knowledge of French. It is definitely an extra asset. Even Indian students aiming to pursue higher studies in medicine and engineering in France are learning the language,” he says.

One of the primary reasons for students to learn French is their desire to broaden their career prospects, feels Marie Joelle Primoguet, Academic Director of Alliance Francaise.

It was the knowledge of a foreign language that fetched a job for S. Janardhanan, who is pursuing B.A. English through correspondence.

Vandana Shah, course coordinator at Emanci Language Institute, which offers courses in Spanish and German languages, thinks more students are heading towards learning foreign languages.

“For instance, some students are learning German to go to Germany and also to get better jobs in companies located at Bangalore. It is indeed an additional advantage. If students are looking at jobs abroad, it is essential to learn the language of the place,” she says.

The students those who complete advance diploma programme in German are drawing about Rs.30,000 a month, says Prof. Meenakshi Reddy, Dean of School of Germanic Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad. However, she feels that it not just the job that counts.

Any study in international relations calls for knowledge of foreign languages. As B. Mohanan, Head, Department of Politics and International Studies at Pondicherry University explains,

“For example, knowledge of Chinese language is important for a student of international studies if he/she wants to focus on China. They can collect information directly, as often translation in English leads to loss of some information.”

Following is the select list of institutes that offer various language courses:

Chinese

Chinese is offered at certificate, diploma, degree and PG levels by JNU, New Delhi, Banaras Hindu University and Varanasi Visva Bharati, Santhinikethan.

Japanese

It is offered at JNU, Visva Bharati, MOSAI Institute of Japanese Language, New Delhi ( www.mosai.org.in), English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad and Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad ( www.rkmath.org).

Spanish

Spanish is offered at EFLU, Hyderabad; Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad, Amity University ( www.amity.edu) among others.

French

French is offered at various levels at EFLU, Hyderabad, Alliance Francaise, Hyderabad ( www.afindia.org/Hyderabad), Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad, Osmania University, Hyderabad and Mumbai University among others.

German

Courses offered at EFLU, Hyderabad, Goethe Zentrum, Hyderabad ( www.goethe.de/Hyderabad), Ramakrishna Math Hyderabad, Osmania University, Mumbai University among others.

Russian

Courses offered at EFLU, Hyderabad, Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad, Osmania University and Mumbai University among others.

(WITH INPUTS FROM R. RAVIKANTH REDDY IN HYDERABAD)

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