I interviewed Ms Mood, who used to be a Spanish and French teacher at The Gatwick School on the benefits of learning foreign languages. The first thing she said was “Languages open a new window to other cultures and other points of view”. She emphasised that learning languages helps us understand one another and see each other's perspectives. 


When discussing TGS she explained that Spanish and French are two of the most spoken languages in the world and it’s especially useful for GCSE students to have a qualification in a foreign language as it creates many job opportunities. 


Considering that learning a language isn’t an easy task I asked her where the best place to start learning a language was, she said that the best thing to do is to take advantage of modern technology and use apps such as DuoLingo and Linguascope, which whilst giving you the basis gamifies the process of learning. 


Later in the interview we discussed the general usefulness of language learning. She explained that languages are connected to a very specific part of the brain that differs from your mother tongue and by learning a language you gain intelligence and stimulate the brain. 


Furthermore, she went on to explain that learning a second language also allows you to form more personal relationships with other people, who speak said languages. By speaking to a person in their mother tongue it creates a deeper connection, this is why in TGS Ms Mood created a tutor group named the UN. This group is for people who learn English as their second language and are still learning. I'm an ambassador for the UN and from personal experience I can say it is amazing, our tutors learn phrases in our native languages and consistently use them. Ms Mood created it for people who need help integrating into the school. 


I asked her why she did it and she told me that in her 4 years at the TGS she’d never seen anyone do it before and she wanted to create a positive culture for EAL students and to remove that sense of isolation and inferiority. She said “Nobody before me created a place called UN, nobody thinks how amazing that is, a student who comes from another culture to integrate into this society”. 


So, to summarise, whilst learning a language helps with job opportunities, it also allows you to understand different cultures, and to connect with people from different backgrounds, learning a language is a lot more than just being able to speak to more people. So I’ll end this article by using one of Ms Mood’s favourite quotes which was said by Nelson Mandela, the quote is: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”