It has been noted that the UK lacked necessary language skills for the future; the common reason is due to the status of English as an international communication language. To remove this barrier, UK government has identified various indicators which would be of importance to its prosperity, security and influence in the world in years ahead. These indicators are an export trade, languages required for UK business, their trade diplomatic and security priorities, high growth market in foreign countries, as international education and prevalence of different languages on the internet. It also includes cultural, educational and economic priorities as well.
To accomplish these indicators, UK government requires developing education centres in its country to educate in languages which are in great demand and could fulfil above indicators. These languages are:
It is a Romance language spoken by 70 million people as first language and at least 100-150 million people as a second language. It is the official language in France, Belgium, Monaco, Switzerland, Togo, Guinea, Ivory Cost, Benin, Cameroon and so on. It is second most learned language after English and eighth most-used language on the Internet with almost 60 million users. Furthermore, it is also official language many international offices like UN, NATO and Red Cross. A person with fluency in French can land himself in administrative, consultant and non-profit jobs. French dominates in telecommunications, energy production, pharmaceuticals and aeronautics. France is the UK’s third most important non-English speaking export market. It is the most sought language by those employees looking for language skills. It will allow a high paid job of a £32,646 salary.
German is a Germanic language with 110 million native speakers in Germany, Austria and other EU countries. It is tenth most spoken language in the world, sixth most common language on the internet and most sought language in the UK in terms of business. Germany is the UK’s most important trading partner, its second biggest export, as well as, import market in goods. Germany is an economic powerhouse on the world stage. Germany is the world’s third largest contributor to research and development, thus making German particularly important for scientific research and most sought after English as the most important scientific language. Moreover, Germans are a most important tourist, and at least 3 million Germans had visited the UK thus giving ample opportunity for the tourism industry. This language may lend £34,534 salary which is highest paid for any language.
It is another Romance language spoken by 70 million people. Italian is an official language of the European Union, the the the the Latin Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It is the fourth most demanded language across the UK and appeared in 15% of the job advertisements. Italy is the UK’s ninth largest non-English speaking goods export market in UK economy. Italian is very important as a tourist language, both for incoming and outgoing visits. Nearly 1.5 million Italian visits the UK giving a moral boost to the tourism industry. Owing to a lot of tourist being attracted towards UK Italian is fast becoming the often spoken language in the vicinity of the country. This language ranks on the seventh number in the index of most popular languages of the UK. Italian is also offered in some of the colleges of England, Scotland and Wales for degree courses. As per a survey conducted in 2012 by the British Chamber of Commerce is has been proved that 14 % of the total job language job advertisements were of Italian. This shows an increased demand for the language in the financial sector as well.
Japan being the third largest economy has a significant role in the growing economy of UK. Japan is one of the exporters as well as an investor in the UK. On one hand where exports include pharmaceuticals, automotive parts and cars and scientific instruments, on the other hand, the nearly 1400 Japanese companies operating in the UK give a boom to the various industries of the country. For the reasons mentioned above, there is an increased demand among the students to study Japanese. Nearly 20 universities offer degree level courses to the students wanting to learn Japanese. Near about 1 % of the total population of UK speaks Japanese properly. They can hold a conversation in a proper way and also as a means to communicate. The UK Science and Innovation Network identify Japan as being one of the best countries for running exchange programs in the field of research. This makes it compulsory for the UK to launch various Japanese language based courses.
This form of Chinese language has attained an official status in China, Taiwan and Singapore. Mandarin Chinese, also known as Putonghua, is the most widely spoken language and near about 16,500 speakers are present in the UK. The students of UK get a lot of opportunities to study in exchange programs in China. There are 30 universities in China that provide degree level courses in Mandarin Chinese. The number of students interested in learning Chinese has increased rapidly over the years. It is estimated that by the year 2020, China will become the fourth country to home a maximum population of students learning Chinese admitted through various exchange programs from over the world. There is growing need for the UK students to learn Chinese as the country is engaging more and more with China in terms of trade and studies.
Apart from the five most widely used languages discussed above, there are more languages that have a significant share in degree level courses. These languages include Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. Thus, one can experience the increased inclination of the students in the UK for learning foreign languages not only to give rise to the business industry but also to make a career in anyone of the popular languages.
Thus, UK government is also taking steps in order to support the students by providing scholarships and various degree courses in the universities in order to provide better opportunities for them to learn the language they want. Not only for the native students, but efforts have also been made to give a proper environment to the foreign students as well.