As a publisher of language learning books for children, and a fully paid up graduate in languages, I’m here to say, ‘HELLO LANGUAGES!’ I don’t need to repeat statistics about the economy or the many educational benefits of knowing a second (or third or fourth…) language, and we’re already members of ALL. My role is to keep other people’s minds open to the very idea of language learning and to reach new budding linguists through bookshops and online marketing.
No, learning a language is not too difficult! And YES, you will get the chance to use your language skills, despite being born with the dubious distinction of a mother tongue that is spoken fluently around the world. Just this week I’ve watched shows in Spanish and in French on Netflix and streamed my favourite French radio station over the internet whilst working.
Our new range of books, aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, sets out to welcome people into the language learning fold. We’ve called the series ‘HELLO LANGUAGES!’ because that’s what we want the books to be: a big, friendly welcome. Just like you might find a way into biology through a love of animals or into engineering through a passion for taking things apart and putting them back together again, a few minutes with the clear, familiar examples in our books will encourage kids to think ‘YES’, I can have a go at this.
So, join us in shouting out a big ‘hello’ to language learning! Now more than ever let’s keep foreign languages in our hearts and minds.