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Amy-Jo Fairbairn, Travel & Tourism student

photo of Amy-Jo FairburnMy name is Amy-Jo Fairbairn. I'm a second year HND Travel & Tourism student at City of Glasgow College.

Which languages do you speak?

I did French at high school but didn’t actually like it that much but since then I’ve done 12 week short courses in German and Spanish which I much prefer. In 3rd year we choose one language to specialise in and I chose Spanish as I think it is very widely used around the world in popular tourist destinations but also there are many Spanish-speaking tourists who come to Scotland.

Why did you choose to study languages as part of your course?Hablas espanol speech bubble

I always wanted to travel and learn about other countries and cultures, therefore speaking other languages goes hand-in-hand with that. Even when I’m in Scotland, I like going to tapas restaurants to practise speaking Spanish. I also love listening to German heavy metal music – at least now I can understand the lyrics! I think learning a language is a great addition to any other subjects you’re studying.

Why do you think languages are an important skill to have?

It means you can communicate with people directly instead of having to use an interpreter as a middle-man. People appreciate being spoken to in their own language, even if it is just a little conversation as it shows you’re making the effort and value their language and culture.

What message would you give to another young person who is considering learning a language as part of their studies?

phone showing language learning appConsider the wealth of benefits that come with learning a language – being able to travel, being able to communicate better, being more employable – seriously think about it. Also, don’t think all languages are the same as I wasn’t too keen on French but love Spanish. You can’t learn a language overnight but take it step-by-step and use technology to help, for example listen to foreign music on Youtube, watch foreign movies and programmes, read the news online from another country, use language learning apps – there are lots of great free ones available.

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