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What students say

When asked why they were learning another language, senior students at Green Bay High School and Botany Downs Secondary College said:

‘I want to go to Japan when I’m older and teach English.’

‘Learning another language gives you a better understanding of how stuff works … and a better understanding of your own language.’

‘[Learning a language,] you definitely get more multicultural, and you find that you understand people more and that you are more open to new things.’

‘If you are in [another] country and you are speaking that language, there is more respect between you.’

‘A lot of people come [to New Zealand] and some of them don’t know English that well … knowing their language can help them and make their stay better.’

‘I have a couple of lifelong friends in Switzerland. We email each other and practise our language skills: I write to her in German and she writes to me in English. We help each other with our homework!’

‘German gives me a way better understanding of English grammar. I learn English grammar in German, instead of my English class. So it just makes everything so much easier.’

‘I learn French because there are so many French movies around and it’s a better experience to watch the movies without the bad English subtitles. You get the feel of the movie – how it’s supposed to be.’

‘A lot of people learn languages so they can travel. It’s not as daunting to go to another country if you know the language.’

‘It’s really fun!’

‘It opens your mind to a lot of stuff because learning a language is not so self-centred; you understand other people a lot better.’

‘If you learn more languages you can get more job opportunities. If the employer sees on your CV that you are more multicultural and can speak more languages, they can send you overseas for trading and stuff like that.’

‘It’s pretty fascinating, learning another language and another culture, and comparing it with the original, the one I know.’

‘Learning another language can help you make more friends.’

‘When I was young I heard my cousin speaking Japanese and I thought, “Wow – that is so cool!”’

‘Especially as New Zealand is so multicultural … I think that it is very important for everyone to understand another culture. While you are learning another language you get more of this understanding of other people. Learning another language gives you a flexible mind.’

‘In my opinion, people respect you more if you understand their way of thinking, and not just your own.’

Last updated August 28, 2012