Acting Rector of the University of Media Arts and Communication-Institute of Languages (UNIMAC-IL), Dr. Sampson Dodzi Fenuku, has urged Ghanaian students to take an interest in learning international languages.
He made this call during the first university-wide Inter-Faculty seminar organized by the Directorate of Research Innovations and Development (DRID) of the University of Media Arts and Communication under the theme “Language, Culture, and Mentality; The Three-Dimensional Axis of Language Studies and Effective Communication.”
The seminar, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of UNIMAC, Professor Kwamena Kwansah Aidoo, saw an extensive discussion by attendees on the essence of studying international languages and the benefits individuals who study them stand to reap.
Language is a major cultural element that helps people communicate, and it is a major identifier of the origin of individuals and groups within every society.
Speaking to journalists after the seminar, Dr. Fenuku said the study of international languages teaches and encourages respect for other people from different cultures. This, he said, encourages unity among people from different backgrounds, resulting in the prevention of conflicts among individuals who have contrary world views.
“…Because most of the conflicts, the wars, and the misunderstandings we witness are a result of the absence of a pragmatic centre,” he said, which is a way of creating effective communication with people for them to comprehend what is spoken to them.
He further explained that Ghanaians are surrounded by several Francophone countries but unfortunately have not taken advantage of learning the French language. A situation he said could have given them a competitive edge for international employment.
“We are surrounded by Francophone countries; here we are talking about Togo, Burkina Faso, and La Côte d’Ivoire, yet we cannot speak French,” he said, adding that the Francophones always look for opportunities in English-speaking countries to polish their English, and they use that to secure international jobs.
He, therefore, urged students to seize the opportunity UNIMAC-Institute of Languages offers individuals who have a passion for studying international languages. Dr. Fenuku expressed worry over the failure of many Ghanaians to learn languages and even our own local dialects. “We don’t get a chance to learn French at all; even our languages, how many people can speak our local languages?” he quizzed.
Dr. Fenuku also noted that studies have shown that those who understand and are eloquent in their own dialect “succeed faster” than those who struggle to speak and understand their own language but pursue the studies of other languages.
He, therefore, urged students to enrol in the UNIMAC-Institute of Languages to study their languages and other international languages, which will help them communicate effectively.
The University of Media, Arts, and Communication Institute of Languages is the nation’s leading institute in teaching and learning local and international languages.