Learning a foreign language in Nigeria is a great boost for any job opportunity and career path.
If you speak to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his brain. If you speak to him in his language, it goes to his heart. -Nelson Mandela
Why should you learn a Foreign Language as a Nigerian?
Language, as we know, is an indispensable tool for communication among the living. The communication link from genesis has been held through spoken and written words of different languages.
Language is, however, more than words we speak and understand. It includes the culture, customs, and way of life of a people.
Their true self and emotions are revealed in the matter at which they gesticulate and articulate when expressing themselves.
Therefore, learning a foreign language broadens the learner’s horizon, opens up the mind, and draws him closer to the natives.
However, the diversity of languages is a potential hurdle as the world is fast becoming a global village.
Consequently, those who have the mastery of other languages, excluding their native tongue, tend to stand at the top of the ladder when it comes to international opportunities.
In the career world characterized by sturdy competition, institutions and companies are out to get top-notch workers that would immensely contribute to their firms’ development.
Hence, it is exigent to be furnished with several qualities that would give one an edge over other persons in interviews, job openings, and even internship offers.
One of the numerous ways to achieve this is by; acquiring a second language and specifically a foreign language.
Benefits of learning a Foreign Language in Nigeria
Enhances Communication Skills
The ability to speak a foreign language is a tool that distinguishes you from colleagues and in competition.
It builds your communication skills in the learning process as it hones your ability to fast track thinking, comprehension, and interpretation of words and phrases for an output of the message passed across.
Unlimited Career Possibilities
Learning a foreign language is an estuary into the ocean of the labour market.
For example, as an accountant who understands the French language, you will be open to job offers in Nigeria like every other accountant out there.
Unlike them, you will be more eligible and open to jobs in Francophone countries that surround Nigeria.
As a graduate looking to further your studies, the usual and recurrent challenge is funding.
Several graduates are on the lookout for scholarship opportunities to get out there and study in other parts of the world.
Learning a foreign language augments your chances. Do you know that possessing a B2 certificate in the German language gives you a chance to study freely in Germany or win a DAAD scholarship?
Probably not, but amazingly this is also open in other foreign languages.
Gets you a quality remuneration
When discussing wages, being bilingual is a plus. Some recruitment agencies give an additional 10 – 15% increment to those who possess foreign language knowledge.
Creates long-term career opportunities
Being proficient alone in a foreign language is a big plus when you get a job. Businesses that hire translators and interpreters feel at ease having you around, and they get to keep you for a long-term working relationship.
They would prefer an in-house manager of their business with their foreign ties than divulging their trade secrets to a freelancer. These are just a few among the numerous ways being bilingual or multilingual aids your career growth.
The prospects are limitless. The only limitation is your ignorance and unwillingness to make a move to learn.
How to learn a Foreign Language in Nigeria?
You might feel it is too late to start learning a foreign language, or that you have no idea where to start from. It is simple.
Firstly, you need to develop an in-depth interest in furnishing yourself with a foreign language. Secondly, decide which language you love or that gets your attention. Then you can make a move to learn it.
Fortunately, the internet has made learning easy, and language is not excluded from this. Beginner lectures are available on the internet in different platforms ranging from pictures, audio files, tutorial videos, podcasts, eBooks, etc.
Furthermore, several language teaching apps are available; Duolingo, Babbel, MEMRiSE, Mondly, and Busuu are great examples though each app serves specific purposes.
As Nigerian, relevant languages you can learn as regards the availability of opportunities include French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese.
These languages are heavily used in Nigeria’s trade relations with the outside world. However, all other major languages of the world are as valuable as the above mentioned because they are unexplored goldmines.
Speaking to an employer in his language or understanding a language your employer lacks may be the major push you need to break career boundaries.
Why don’t you make haste and learn a foreign language today? And yes, it is not too late if only you start NOW.
Read: Learn how to set up your home office in Nigeria.
- Temitayo is an experienced event photographer, entrepreneur, and brand manager. He is a graduate of French and a freelance English and French translator, tutor, and creative writer.