“Languages in the workplace”: embedding employability in the foreign language undergraduate curriculum

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© 2017 Alison Organ.


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Abstract

This case study examines student perceptions of the experiential value of a work placement carried out as part of a languages degree programme. The data for the case study consists of a corpus of 67 reports submitted from 2011 to 2015, reflecting on placements carried out in Europe, Japan, the UK and the US. The data offers a student view of the impact of the placement on their linguistic prowess, character development, employability and career plans. The case study compares these with the soft skills increasingly required in employment, and concludes that the reflective nature of the work placement report is beneficial to students in preparation for marketing themselves to potential employers.

Keywords: languages, work placement, employability, key skills, study abroad.

References

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National Careers Service. (n.d.). What are the soft skills employers want? https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/aboutus/newsarticles/Pages/Spotlight-SoftSkills.aspx

Organ, A. (2016). Work placements for languages students: a transformative experience. In E. Corradini, K. Borthwick & A. Gallagher-Brett (Eds), Employability for languages: a handbook (pp. 25-28). Dublin: Research-publishing.net. http://dx.doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2016.cbg2016.458

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Organ, Alison. (2017). “Languages in the workplace”: embedding employability in the foreign language undergraduate curriculum. In Carmen Álvarez-Mayo, Angela Gallagher-Brett, Franck Michel (Eds), Innovative language teaching and learning at university: enhancing employability (pp. 37-45). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2017.innoconf2016.653

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From the same author

Work placements for languages students: a transformative experience
Organ, Alison.
doi:10.14705/rpnet.2016.cbg2016.458