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Statements of Excellence for Admission to Advanced Education Programs in English

The English Language for World Unification!

Personal Statement of Purpose for Degree Programs in English Language and Literature.

 We applaud the rise of English as a global language simply because we are in need of one most desperately. Having one language that is recognized as a primary, international language helps to unify us a global or planetary society. Since English is so widely spoken nowadays, many non-native speakers have found that they've been required to learn it to stay in business. English has approximately 375 million native speakers, born in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries. However, it has been estimated that there are over a billion non-native speakers of English.

Today, English is widespread largely due to the fact that it is used so heavily in television, film and music. Hollywood's global spread has contributed strongly to the international popularity of English. It is also the predominant language on the Internet. Web pages in other languages often tend to have an English translation. The British Empire and the dominant nature of American popular culture have contributed overall to the spread of English across the planet.

There are still significant language barriers between people of different countries. If more people learn English, and come to speak it fluently, these barriers could be broken down. A person in Holland would not need to learn Chinese in order to communicate with his friends in China. Instead, he could use English as a neutral language. Then, if he wished to learn Chinese for his own purposes, he could do so at his leisure, rather than being forced to learn it in a crash course just to be able to communicate with his friend.

 Some people mistakenly think that English is a Romance language. It is rather a Germanic language which was heavily influenced by the Normans upon their conquest of England in 1066. The Normans eventually went on to become the French. The early Britons adopted many of the Norman word roots, which has resulted in many similarities between French and English today.

English as a Global Languate

One important argument in favor of English as a global language is its effectiveness. Chinese has more native speakers, however, it also has simplistic grammar, and it lacks articles, prepositions, verb conjugation and tense, singularity and plurality of nouns making it less effective than English at expressing complex meanings. It is also tonal, which limits the speaker's use of tone for emotional and conceptual expression. Furthermore most Westerners find the Chinese writing system difficult to grasp, whereas the Chinese and other groups tend to learn the Roman alphabet easily. The Roman alphabet is already the most widely used alphabet in the world today, and is shared by many disparate and seemingly unrelated languages, such as English (which has Germanic and French roots) and Spanish (which derives from the Vulgar Latin.) Since the Roman alphabet is phonetic (representing sounds) rather than character based (representing concepts) it is a more effective method of describing the actual sounds of words and phrases. The primarily difficulty with learning English is getting over irregularities.For example, the "gh" in through and laugh representing no sound and f respectively, whereas "g" alone can represent the hard "g" in get or the soft "g" in George, and "h" alone can represent the aspirated sound in hat or no sound at all as in honor. Unfortunately, the only solution to this problem is memorization and practice.

What Can I Do With a Major in Languages?

Many translation/interpretation careers require certification. A recent increase in demand for interpreters and translators has resulted directly from the broadening of international ties and the increase in foreign language speakers in the United States. Technology has made the work of interpreters and translators easier, but shouldn't diminish demand, since artificial translation cannot make the subtle judgments that a trained professional will - based on cultural knowledge, familiarity with slang and nonverbal communication cues.

The job outlook varies by your specialty and language combination. Approximately 20% of interpreters and translators are self-employed and the work is often sporadic or part-time. Nearly 30% work in public and private educational institutions, such as schools, colleges, and universities. About 10% work in healthcare; over 10% work in other areas of government, such as federal, state and local courts. Other employers include publishing companies, telephone companies, airlines, and interpreting and translating agencies.

Language degrees can be combined with teacher certification to teach in the K-12 system, or at the college level with an advanced degree. Many opportunities for multilingual professionals exist in international business and global relations.

Career Requirements in the Language Arts

Language specialists must thoroughly understand the subject matter in which they work, so that they are able to convert information from one language, known as the source language, into another, the target language. They must remain sensitive to the cultures associated with their languages of expertise. Interpreters are often required to translate to and from both languages, while translators generally work only in one direction, translating the written word from the source language to the target language. It is important to understand what is communicated in both languages, and to express thoughts and ideas clearly. Strong research and analytical skills, mental dexterity, and an exceptional memory also are important.

Advancements in technology allow translation work to be done via computer, and most assignments are received and submitted electronically. The Internet provides advanced research capabilities and valuable language resources, such as specialized dictionaries and glossaries. Machine-assisted translation, including memory tools that provide comparisons of previous translations with current work, helps save time and reduce repetition. This same technology also allows aspiring translators to take their college classes online, allowing them to expand their knowledge while still maintaining a normal work and life schedule.

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The Humanitarian Side of English

Perhaps one of the most obvious options for graduates of English is going into developing countries to teach English as a foreign language. And you’d be right in thinking that there are plenty of opportunities to do this, especially if you have a TEFL certificate already.

However, you might also like to go into grant writing, helping NGOs whose cause you genuinely support. There is a lot of scope for using your skills all over the world. In fact, there are plenty of materials you could get started on!

Kimberley Baldwin Radford recently wrote a piece for, telling us that 38,000 potential humanitarian markets are out there waiting for your writing talents, and you don’t necessarily have to be in the same country to help out. So whether it’s a nonprofit in the education, agriculture, development, health or economy sector that you’re looking for, you can get involved. And doing that can really help you work towards earning a living from doing good. Many NGOs like CARE, Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders are secular and need proposals and reports; proofreading and editing services; public relations materials; assistance with IEC development. Learning how to write excellent grantmanship skills would be a great way to start your journey.

So let’s take a look at some opportunities you can find online right now (at the time of writing).

Careers in Nonprofits is searching for a grants writer. This staffing firm works with the nonprofit sector exclusively, and this part-time, temporary assignment position is based in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. The salary is $16-$18 per hour, and you’ll need to research local and national foundations and major corporations for potential funding opportunities, manage the grants calendar, create proposals, etc. You’ll also preferably need prior grant writing experience, a Bachelor’s Degree, donor database experience, etc. There are many positions like this available that could turn out to be potential freelance opportunities if you’re not in the region. Contact the job provider and ask!

The Gladstone Institutes is a famous center of excellence and nonprofit affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco that works in the area of health through research, education and outreach in the fields of neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, virology and immunology. The Institute is looking for an experience grant writer to help investigators in the preparation of grant applications and funding requests to diverse private foundations.

While an advanced degree in neuroscience would be an additional strength for this position, you would only actually need an established track record of critically contributing to the preparation and successful competition of grants of this kind, and “outstanding” verbal and written communication skills.

The American Cancer Society is currently advertising their need for a grant writer with a Bachelor’s Degree and 3-5 years’ experience developing major gifts from foundations/institutional funders who will work in New York.

The internet is literally covered in these types of positions, but you will often need experience to get them. A voluntary placement can help you produce evidence of the efficacy of your grant writing, and work at small organizations can help you build your experience, so don’t worry. A master’s degree will also provide you with that competitive edge and lead to the pay you deserve.


If you want to pursue grant writing specifically, you can either go and study for a post-graduate certificate at a university or other institution, or do an Master’s in Nonprofit Management or Nonprofit Administration, where you will learn to write grants, as well as run an entire organization!

The University of Oregon has a Master of Nonprofit Management program, where you can learn how to manage organizations in this blooming sector, and their unique funding and management structures; gathering funding, seeking government and foundation grants, membership revenues, gifts from major donors, broad-based support (small gifts), events and sponsorships, bequests, and other forms of funding. There’s a whole semester during the first year that’s dedicated to fundraising and grant proposal writing.

When it comes to certificates, Boston University has a Fundraising Management Graduate Certificate which allows you to obtain entry to a mid-level position in a development office of a well-established nonprofit organization. For more information, see

If you’re not in a position to study outside of your own home, don’t worry, there’s also online graduate certificate opportunities out there. The Mizzou Online Graduate Certificate in Grantsmanship is available at the University of Missouri. It’s an 8-week course, and costs international students $90 to apply. If you need help with your application to make sure that’s not money wasted, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Alternatively, there’s a Graduate Certificate in Grant Writing, Management and Program Evaluation at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA, designed to improve the quality of your grant writing and program evaluation when working within local governments, nonprofits, educational settings, and criminal justice and public service agencies.

If a solid M.A. is more what you’re looking for, what about Concordia University Chicago’s M.A. in Grant Writing, Management and Evaluation? It costs $12,900 at the time of writing. It’ll prepare you to locate, implement, manage, report, coordinate, research, submit and track grant applications and grant compliance. It’ll also allow you to conduct both internal and external program evaluation within organizations to a high level of competence. What better way to prepare yourself for a career in humanitarian work?

Other options include doing an M.A. in TESOL & Creative Writing, like the program offered at the University of Westminster, London, UK. This course provides students with a combination of theoretical academic study, practical application and skills development in teaching English. There’s also an interesting focus on using creative writing in the classroom. The tuition fees are 12,500 GBP for international students, and this 1-year, full-time or 2-year, part-time course could prepare you exceptionally well for a career teaching abroad or working for a related NGO in a high position.

Sometimes choosing a path can be really difficult. You might not be sure which direction would be best for you. Voluntary work abroad can help prepare you for the world of humanitarian work, and your Bachelor’s degree in English makes you a valuable addition to any team.

Studying a Master’s can only add to the quality of the contribution you provide in your humanitarian work. If the application process is something you’re nervous about, please don’t hesitate to hit us up! We’ll help give you the best chance of getting on the program of your dreams.

College Degrees in Languages

Although training requirements can vary, almost all interpreters and translators have a bachelor's degree. Even if you are already fluent in another language, a formal education enhances your cultural awareness, attention to detail and nuances in communications, understanding of contextual vocabulary and slang, and it builds superior listening and communication skills. A degree in a certain language will help you develop an understanding of the literature and culture of its speakers. If you can't take the time for a traditional college degree, you can take online college courses in many languages, which can lead to certificates or accredited degrees.

When choosing electives, you should try to get a good mix of both language courses and cultural study. Include courses in history, politics and even religion to help you understand the environment of the people who speak that language. Your language degree program also helps to hone research and memorization skills that you'll use for translations, not to mention giving you practice in working with reporting, deadlines, and communications.

So if you decide, for example, to become an acquisitions specialist in Italian Renaissance art, it's important to not only have Italian fluency to deal with the sellers or lenders of the art, but a cultural fluency as well, to perform research and translate any historical documents pertaining to the pieces you are considering. If you work in an inner-city medical clinic serving Spanish-speaking patients, you can converse with them about their specific concerns, but also read what is written in their native country or get a sense of how to approach the problem with cultural sensitivity.

Language classes designed for the workplace will teach you grammar, word usage, pronunciation and conversational style. Specialized college courses online can teach you the specifics you'll need to work in professional areas such as business, fire science, law, human resource management, and healthcare management.

Language Certification, Licensure and Professional Associations

There is currently no universal form of certification required of interpreters and translators, but there are a variety of exams you can take to demonstrate your proficiency.

The American Translators Association provides accreditation for its members. Other options include a certification program offered by the Translators and Interpreters Guild. Federal courts have certification for Spanish, Navaho, and Haitian Creole interpreters, and many state and municipal courts offer their own forms of certification. The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators offers certification for court interpreting.

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Careers for Language Degree Holders

Jobs that make direct use of the skills earned in a language degree program involve either interpretation (the spoken word) or translation (written documents). Other career opportunities for language majors exist in international relations, diplomacy, intelligence gathering, literature, journalism, law, medicine, education, tourism, the Foreign Service, environmental agencies, non-profit organizations, information technology, and international commerce.

Translation & Interpretation Careers

Interpreters and translators enable the cross-cultural communication that is crucial in today's society. Translators are most in demand for the languages referred to as PFIGS Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, and the principal Asian languages--Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Specialized Language Career Choices

You might choose to specialize in one area of expertise or in a variety of areas, if you are doing contract work. Some of the most common areas are listed here, in addition to business, social services, or entertainment opportunities.

Conference interpreters work at conferences that involve non-English-speaking attendees. This work includes international business and diplomacy, although conference interpreters also may interpret for any organization that works with foreign language speakers. Employers prefer high-level interpreters who have the ability to translate from at least two passive (learned) languages into one active (native) language. For some positions, such as those with the United Nations, this qualification is mandatory.

Guide or escort interpreters accompany travelers to ensure they are able to communicate during their stay. These specialists interpret a variety of subjects, both on an informal and a professional level. Frequent travel, often for days or weeks at a time, is common, a factor which some find particularly appealing.

Literary translators adapt written works, such as journal articles, books, poetry, and short stories, into the target language in such a way as to reproduce the content and style of the original. Whenever possible, literary translators work closely with authors in order to best capture their intended meanings and literary characteristics.

Localization translators constitute a relatively recent and rapidly expanding specialty. Localization involves the complete adaptation of a product for use in a different language and culture. This work had previously dealt primarily with software, but has expanded to include the adaptation of Internet sites and products in manufacturing and other business sectors. Translators working in localization need a thorough understanding of technical concepts and vocabulary, and a high degree of knowledge about the intended target audience or users. Because software often is involved, a strong background in computer science is important.

Medical interpreters and translators help patients communicate with doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. A big part of the job is interpreting patient materials and informational brochures, issued by hospitals and medical facilities. Medical interpreters need a strong grasp of medical and colloquial terminology in both languages, along with cultural sensitivity regarding how the patient receives the information.

The opportunities that exist for Foreign Service Specialists are as diverse as the 265 posts abroad in which they serve. Foreign Service Specialist jobs are grouped into seven major categories: administration, construction engineering, information technology, international information and English language programs, medical and health, office management, and security. The U.S. Department of State offers career opportunities to professionals in specialized areas around the world.