The University of Guelph boasts a wide variety of language courses with a range of skill levels perfect for the curious student. Whether you’re a newcomer debating taking a language course as an elective, or you’re eager to further develop your skills in a particular language, this article offers some exciting and promising benefits that may help guide your decision.

1. Learning a new culture

When you enroll in a language course, you’re not just signing up to learn a language but the culture of the country it originates from! This is especially important if you plan on becoming a globetrotter, or simply travelling to a different province or state with another culture. Taking, for example, SPAN 1100 – Introductory Spanish, you’ll gain basics like how to greet, ask questions, and give directions, but in addition you’ll learn about famous landmarks, history, streets, and customs among other elements of Hispanic culture. This course simply marks the beginning should you decide to pursue further developed courses throughout your university career.


2. Enhancing your native tongue

This may seem counter-intuitive; focusing on a whole other language couldn’t possibly allow you to better understand your own, right? However, it enables you to think about the nuances of language and the intricacies of grammar, some of which may even draw parallels to the grammar rules of English. For instance, LAT 1100 – Preliminary Latin, teaches you essential rules behind the grandfather of most languages. Many native English speakers fail to realize that there are even components that dictate the way we express, for instance, demands or wishes, i.e. imperative and subjunctive moods, respectively. Ultimately, you’re learning a new language while building on your own.


3. Increased job opportunities

As much as you may want to encounter an English-proficient in a foreign country, tourists may want to encounter someone who speaks their language, too. The ability to speak multiple languages, even on some fundamental level, is extremely valuable no matter the industry, especially in our globally connected society. Additionally, in an increasingly competitive workplace, the skill proves even more valuable for the individual. As Canadians, most of us with a high school education had to participate in a minimal foundation of French studies, but failed to realize how significant it can be for the future! Fortunately, there are many French courses available at U of G; one can start completely anew with FREN 1090 – Basic French, or from whichever grade level you feel necessary!


4. Making for a well-rounded education

To many, taking a language-learning course may seem unnecessary, especially if it is not part of your program requirements. However, learning a language may actually enhance your experience at university. For science students, LAT 1100 may satiate the curiosity of its modern as well as ancient practice in the biological sciences. Similarly, for law or history students, GREK 1100 – Preliminary Greek, delves into not only the language but concepts of the ancient civilization, such as mythology and democracy.


5. Meeting more people

Of course, you can meet people regardless of the course, but many language-learning courses are designed to be interactive and personable, allowing you to communicate to the people around you. This is not only for oral practice, but it is to get you comfortable with the language and the environment you’ll be working in for the semester. Additionally, some courses may offer you as a class the opportunity to travel abroad! LAT 1100 saw to Rome, for instance. With the same class you’ve been interacting with for the past semester, it will be like going on a trip with your friends!


Ultimately, taking a language-learning course is very beneficial; studying a new language is one of the best ways to exercise your mind and have fun simultaneously.



Nicole Moore

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