Awareness of and Attitude towards Learning of Non-english foreign Languages among Higher Secondary, Graduation and Post-graduation Students in the City of Kolkata - An Empirical Study
Keywords:Globalisation, Culture, Cross-Cultural Management, Cultural Diversity, Foreign Languages, Students, Employability, Quality of Human Capital.
AbstractThe globalisation spree among the emerging economies is enhancing the integration of the economies of the world with their own economies. India is no exception as it is evidenced by the increasing FDI flow and cross-border mergers and acquisitions not only in monetary values but also in number of countries involved. This trend can be accelerated, if the work force of our country as well as those of other nations of the world become more appreciative of each others' cultural aspects. One way to augment mutual appreciation of each others' cultures is knowledge of foreign languages, i.e., languages of different nations. This facilitates cross-cultural management and synergistic utilisation of cultural diversities. With increasing degree of globalisation, more and more countries are coming in contact with each other through trade and commercial activities. The dependence on English as the global language is thus diminishing fast. Knowledge of different national languages offers significant benefits like harnessing overseas opportunities, accessing cultural riches of immigrant communities, and reducing cultural clashes. The benefits of knowing different foreign languages include assisting in grasping another way of thinking, enhancing memory, critical thinking, and study skills. In business, communication and negotiation skills improve with knowledge in foreign languages. Students form the future of any economy. This paper aims at assessing the awareness of and attitude towards learning non-English foreign languages among higher secondary, graduation and post-graduation students, both from professional and academic streams in the city of Kolkata and suburbs. The paper also suggests ways to motivate students to learn foreign languages along with their normal course of study. This will help them to enhance their employability not only in India but also abroad. Moreover, at a macro level, the quality of human capital in India will be held in higher esteem by the global community. Prospective sectors in India e.g. social work, medicine, law, international business, community organising, foreign service, journalism, hospitality, education, etc. will be highly benefited, if the linguistic capability of the work force is enhanced by the knowledge of other foreign languages as there will be more international participation both inward and outward in these sectors. This will pave the way for accelerated integration of the Indian economy with the global economy.
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