Why study a language (such as Italian) in the 21st Century?

  • We are still somewhat of an anomaly in Australia where learning a second language is not always considered to be important. Let’s not forget that in most countries around the world bilingualism or multilingualism is the norm.
  • It takes four times as long to reach the same proficiency in many other languages than in Italian.
  • Italian is a relatively simple language to learn as a second language and thus gives you the basis and skills for learning a third language in the future.
  • There are many cognates between English and Italian and so learning Italian can expand your knowledge of English vocabulary and word derivation.
  • Although we are situated close to Asia which is and will continue to be one of our trade partners, Europe still continues to be a strong trade partner and knowledge of a European language can open up the possibility of travel and work in the European Union.
  • If you enjoy and are good at Italian, keep studying it. Many boys who stop at year 9 or 10 regret it later as they realise it could have boosted their marks or opened up a career or travel path to them.
  • Many boys at Salesian also study a language other than Italian outside of school. These boys are encouraged to continue studying their chosen language as like any additional or second language the same sorts of doors and pathways can be opened especially is you continue until VCE level.

Jessica Saya
Head of LOTE and Italian Teacher

Language Learning Quotes

  • ‘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.’ (Nelson Mandela)
  • ‘One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.’ (Frank Smith)
  • ‘You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.’ (Geoffrey Williams)
  • ‘Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.’ (Rita Mae Brown)
  • ‘Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.’ (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
  • ‘I cannot imagine a future in which people of all cultures and nations are not increasingly connected by ties of travel, commerce and migration. Language skills and cultural sensitivity will be the new currency of this world order and provide the keys to participation in the global economy.’ (General Peter Cosgrove)
  • ‘Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.’ (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • ‘Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.’ (Rita Mae Brown)
  • ‘Languages are deeply intellectual and intensely practical. When you learn a language well, you engage in the deepest manifestations of a cultural system.’ (Joseph Lo Bianco)
  • ‘Multilingual people have access to a much larger volume of knowledge and, being used to switching languages, they have more flexible minds. They are less rigid in their attitudes and tend to be more tolerant, less hostile to the unknown and are more inclined to regard other people’s cultural practices as acceptable and to be respected. They also have a greater ability than monolinguals to learn something entirely new, to fit into novel situations without trauma, and to understand different sides of a problem.’ (Stephen Wurm, former member of United Nations).