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Learning Languages

Advanced Language Study

Language study at an advanced level offers all the advantages we have already mentioned, but in more powerful forms: it promises a more complete contact with other cultures and other peoples, more sophisticated perspectives, and more accomplished skills. Researchers suggest that learning a second language helps people think about language and texts in new ways, and develops skills for critical thinking which can be applied in many different situations. Learning another language certainly improves skills in a first language, which is why those who have studied another language tend to score better on scholastic aptitude tests. But advanced studies also offer important career advantages because companies and public sector employers have always needed people who can communicate effectively in more than one language. In this global "information age" such needs can only increase–especially in a bilingual and multicultural country like Canada. Students who choose to pursue a degree in a second language sometimes do so with a teaching career in mind; but language study is also valuable preparation for civil service positions with federal, provincial, and municipal governments; for law; for journalism, publishing, and advertising; for financial industries and import-export companies; for travel and tourism; and for many other careers.

Western provides the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities.