Dr Dorothy Pokua Agyepong, a lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana, has admonished the youth to learn multiple languages in order to enable them to distinguish themselves among other job applicants during a job search.
She made this known to The Spectator exclusively in an interview at the University of Ghana, Legon, on Wednesday.
The lecturer said Ghana was considered a multi-lingual nation because there were more than 40 languages in the nation.
She, however, said there was the need for the youth in Ghana to try as much as possible to speak and write in other foreign languages as well.
Again, she said, it was quite disturbing that there were some people in Ghana who spoke one language only and that made them “monolingual living in a multilingual nation”, as there were many foreigners living in the country as well.
Highlighting on the need for learning multiple languages, the lecturer said that it helped to enable an individual to communicate effectively with others, adding that, the youth must be able to interact with a Francophone since “Ghana is surrounded by French-speaking countries and as such, it is handicapped for one not to be able to express himself or herself in the French language.”
Citing language barrier in the health sector as one of the major challenges, Dr Agyepong noted that it was important for a medical doctor to interact in several local and foreign languages to bridge the gap of language barrier that existed between a patient and the medical consultant.
She pointed out that the world was a global village and it was important for the youth to learn other languages in order to enhance networking opportunities amongst them.
“Language makes one learn about peoples culture, tradition, customs and values, which makes them appreciate culture diversity,” she stated.
Stressing on the importance of learning multiple languages as a youth, Dr Agyepong said language ensured job security which made one get an added advantage over other employees who were not polyglots.
The linguistics lecturer admonished youths to know that ability to speak a language served as an identity in a multilingual environment.
“Apart from learning other languages, it is important for the youth to acknowledge and place emphasis on their local languages. It is said that some Ghanaians no longer value the essence of making their children learn their own local languages with the perception that it is not important,” Dr Agyepong stressed and said that the local languages gave a child a clear identity of their root as Ghanaians.