Achieving the Employable: Southampton Language Opportunity


It’s no secret that employers LOVE an applicant who can speak a language, but the prospect of language learning is more than daunting for most. It’s worth it though!

Learning a language is difficult, especially mastering one. But, you don’t need to have the fluency of a native for your language skills to be valued by an employer. There’s always the option of taking a language as a minor at the University of Southampton, but often the prospect of taking an official exam can take the fun out of language learning.

Why not take up Polish? Photo Credit – Pixabay.

So, if you’re looking to make yourself more employable and increase your chances of getting a competitive position you’ve applied for, you’ll need something to stand out. A survey conducted by CILT, the National Centre for Languages, discovered that employers rank language skills among potential employees second ONLY to computer skills. So, having some knowledge of a language could be your way in.


It goes without saying that some languages are considered more useful than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn an obscure language. Liv Tyler taught herself Elvish for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. So, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same (although something else might be more useful).
According to The Telegraph, the top 10 languages soon-to-be graduates should be looking to learn are:

  1. German
    German flag. Photo Credit – pixabay.
  2. French
  3. Spanish
  4. Mandarin
  5. Polish
  6. Arabic
  7. Cantonese
  8. Russian
  9. Japanese
  10. Portuguese


But, if you don’t fancy yourself as a linguist and really wish you could speak a language, here are a list of some of the languages considered easier to learn for English speakers:

  1. Dutch
  2. Afrikaans
  3. French
  4. Italian
    C’est La Vie. Photo Credit – pixabay.
  5. Spanish
  6. Portuguese
  7. Norwegian

There are lots of intensive courses you can do to get your language skills up to scratch, such as those done abroad through Erasmus. But, if you can’t spare the cash or are looking for something a bit closer to home, the University of Southampton offers weekly language courses during the term AND intensive courses in both Easter and Summer, free of charge! There’s no exam and the class atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.

So, if you don’t have fond memories of taking your French GCSE and are apprehensive about getting your head back in the languages game, this might be the perfect opportunity for you.


[quote align=”left” name=”Maddy Ell” role=”BA History and Politics Student”]I did the Easter intensive course, because I had applied for a Chinese government scholarship and had won it, so will be taking a year out to study intensive Mandarin in China! [With Southampton Language Opportunity] I learnt meet and greets and intonation differences (so important in Mandarin, as horse and mum are the same word, but it’s literally the way you say it which makes the difference.  I think it will be helpful in the future and has made me a lot more confident going forward on my year abroad! I was taught in many different ways, so it suits a wide variety of people. I would definitely recommend an intensive course if anyone needs a confidence boost or wants to get started with a language! [/quote]

Photo Credit - pixabay.
Photo Credit – pixabay.


So, if this hasn’t convinced you to get started in any way with a language, even with Rosetta Stone, I don’t know what will.

Happy language learning!






More articles in Achieving the Employable
  1. Achieving the Employable: International Citizens Service
  2. Achieving the Employable: The Best Student Jobs
  3. Achieving the Employable: Southampton Language Opportunity
  4. Achieving the Employable: 9 Ways to Improve Your CV
  5. Achieving the Employable: Jumping in At the Deep-End
  6. Achieving the Employable: Frontline
  7. Achieving the Employable: Programming for Dummies
  8. Achieving the Employable: It’s Not About the Money, Money, Money

Law student at the University of Southampton.

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