The Independent has an interesting article about the influx of further education students wanting to learn another language.

John Morgan is in the first year of a PhD on environmental history. He faces the challenges confronting most postgraduate students, from managing time to getting the research done. But there’s an added difficulty. “German historians are currently publishing lots on natural disasters and the environment in early modern Europe,” he says. “I’m keen to engage with this literature, but the vast majority is in German.”

When students are studying a very specific field it is important to be able to read everything you can about the subject. The example above is a reminder that many texts, especially niche journals, if written in a foreign language are unlikely to be translated into your own. Therefore it might be necessary for you to do some translating of your own and learn another language. The article lists many advantages to learning another language. Boosting academic output, communication, intercultural awareness, enhancing your mental flexibility, creativity and higher-order thinking skills and extra language skills can benefit your career prospects. With a list of advantages like that it is understandable why more and more postgraduates are choosing to squeeze in language courses alongside their main field of study.