Learning new languages is both fun and necessary in modern life

1 University Clock tower
University Clock Tower (Photo: Wikimedia commons)
AMMAN — The number of foreigners learning Arabic in Jordan is going up, according to the director of the Languages Center at the University of Jordan, Ziad Gugazeh. “There is an increasing demand for learning different languages, and we noticed this from the number of people (enrolling),” Gugazeh told Jordan News in an interview.اضافة اعلان

He said that learning a language allows the learner to view the cultured and civilized aspects of the country’s who’s language he is learning.

Gugazeh said that the technological revolution has meant that greater importance is placed on languages today because the world has become a small village, and there is an urgent need to open up to others and communicate globally. Technology also provided the tools to assist the learner in acquiring new languages.

He said that learning languages today has changed from the past, as new methodologies are being used that keep pace with developments in the wider world. It has become common for children to know three languages.

The modern educational curriculum has incorporated foundations based on the “child way” mode of learning, and has moved away from the traditional method that is based on instruction, Gugazeh stressed.

He said that the difficulty in learning languages lies with the first new language you try to learn, after which the human mind becomes familiar with the method and learning other languages becomes easier.

Demand for learning English is always the highest, especially in Jordan, Gugazeh said, because Jordanians learn a language not as an “intellectual luxury”, but according to the demands of the labor market. “We deal with learning as an investment,” he said, adding that English is dominant over other languages globally.

Jordan University clock tower (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

As for studying language majors in Jordan, Gugazeh said: “These majors have an advantage as a window into civilizations and they allow the person who knows that language to be a part of the civilized landscape. Languages are a vessel for civilizations, in addition to the role played by globalization.”

He said that the Civil Service Bureau bears the responsibility of clarifying the extent to which the labor market needs certain language majors, given that they are primarily taught for employment purposes.

About the importance of learning languages, Gugazeh added: “Acquiring a language means acquiring new knowledge, increasing a person’s ability to analyze, it increases their self-confidence, and gives them a sense of achievement over others, and directly influences a learner’s overall personality.”

Gugazeh called for focusing on the educational process, not learning and instruction, and that it is necessary today to follow the method of integration in education to create a complex between learning and the utilization of useful tools and platforms (self-education) to reach the best ways for acquiring a language.

Reem Abu Dalo, a second-year accounting student, said: “I started learning English from the first year of my major, and that was after I faced many obstacles in understanding the subjects I took, and I had to translate every page I studied.

“So, I devoted all my effort to studying the English language besides studying my university major, and I enrolled in many courses, which prompted me to think to stop my accounting major, and I started to study English Literature in the next stage of my life.”

Sociologist Hussein Al-Khuzai said: “Learning a language is fun. It is an art, because when you speak the language of a country, you adopt part of the culture and become more familiar with a civilization that is different from the civilization of your mother tongue, and you will meet many people and have relationships based on respect and love.”

He said that when you learn a language, you are just in the introduction phase, then it expands to customs, traditions, and food of the people whose language you are learning.

“For young people learning a language helps fill their spare time, and most importantly, it contributes to improving their taste for art, music, theater, and poetry. Even the learner’s psychology becomes clearer. But the learner may face the lack of an opportunity to practice what he has learned,” Khuzai said.

Khuzai stressed the importance of self-education, as social media platforms have provided a great opportunity to acquire the knowledge a language learner wants, emphasizing that learning a language stems from the love of a language, and that friends play an important role in helping a learner in acquiring and practicing a certain language.

“My message to parents in general is they need to encourage their children by teaching them more than one language in order to give them more opportunities in the future and enlighten them and introduce them to new and different perceptions,” Khuzai added.

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