The Great Opportunity

Takuo Kinoshita

Instructor of Japanese Language

Parkland College


The Prospectus (Vol.9 #2 Sept. 2 ’15) carried an article reporting the

significant trend of decrease in the enrollment in foreign language courses now

comparing to ten years ago. According to the article only 3.2% of the student body

study a foreign language at Parkland College.

According to the article some of the reasons for the change are

* foreign languages are neither required for admission nor graduation at many

universities, and

* the increasing cost of attending colleges and universities   among other reasons.

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, it seems that the purpose of

education being emphasized today is as a means of getting a job. For that reason

rightfully emphasis goes to obtaining skills, techniques, and information for a


specific occupation.

A great number of graduates of Parkland College reach their goals

professionally and successfully live as productive members of our society. Now

learning a foreign language does not seem to be important for the job-searching

process for many people since some higher education institutions do not require

foreign language and students are not aware of what opportunities are opened up

for individuals with multiple language skills.

The article indicated only 3.2 % of students study other languages.

It means theoretically only 3 people out of 100 in the workforce in any field can

communicate with people from other countries in this new global age. These 3%

people have a chance to stand out as unique persons compared to the other 97 %

of the population.

Recently one of the top management officers of a multi-national Japanese

company at a seminar at The University of Illinois told the audience that his

company is seeking people who are sensitive toward other cultures and can

communicate with people in other languages in addition to skills and knowledge in

that field.

There are many examples of people working in various fields as a result of

having invested their time and energy in studying a foreign language, such as

* working in an airline company

* working in a management office in a retail company

* teaching in another countries

* being a health care professional here or abroad

* serving as a language specialist in a military force

When fewer people study foreign language the greater the opportunity becomes

for you to be a more qualified person than the 97 %. You can be a unique person

in your field which increases your job opportunities. Parkland College offers

several languages. While studying here at Parkland College take advantage of the

opportunity to learn a new language or increase your skills in one you’ve already begun.