27 Aug Learner Spotlight: Ruqayya Albelooshi
In celebration of Emirati Women’s Day on 28th August, we are featuring Ruqayya Albelooshi, an Emirati who finds learning French an added value to her professional and personal growth. It started with her admiration for the language, and later she realized all of its benefits. She shares her learning journey, hoping to empower other Emirati women and inspire the UAE community to learn a foreign language.
Thank you for the privilege, Ruqayya. Tell us about yourself and why you chose to learn French?
As they say, “Le français est la langue de l’amour et de la raison” meaning “French is the language of love and reason”. I’m currently learning French at Eton Institute and work for the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future as the Head of Government Identity and Events. I’m studying French for many reasons but, mainly because I think, it is one of the most beautiful and richest world languages. I also realized that learning French improves not just my language skills but also my cognitive ability, especially in my line of work.
Learning French requires analysis and critical thinking because of its preciseness and verb formation, developing my thought structure and decision-making skills.
“I also realized that learning French improves not just my language skills
but also my cognitive ability, especially in my line of work.”
Tell us about your learning journey with Eton Institute.
It has been two years since I started learning French with Eton Institute and it has been an amazing journey. I became good friends with my first French teacher – one of the reasons why I am delighted to study here. Learning at Eton Institute allows you to become part of a family and build good relationships with the people you interact with.
As an Emirati woman, does learning a new language empower you?
The United Arab Emirates is a globally-connected country and as an Emirati woman, learning a foreign language makes me feel more connected to the rest of the world. Learning the French language helps me effectively communicate with others as it is spoken by more than 220 million people worldwide. Dealing with government officials and international and local connections, knowing how to speak and read French gives me the upper hand to do my job with excellence.
We bet it does! How important is it to learn a foreign language in the UAE?
It’s crucial to learn a foreign language in the UAE in addition to Arabic and English. It stimulates brain activity and creativity, which makes you stand out in the UAE’s competitive market. Being a multilingual here is the ultimate advantage because of the high number of expats and mixed nationalities.
“As an Emirati woman, learning a foreign language
makes me feel more connected to the rest of the world.”
Going back to your learning journey, what have you found the best part of learning French?
The best part is that I see my progress in reading and understanding the spoken language as I move up from one level to the next. This gives me a sense of achievement and productivity.
What would you say is the most challenging?
On the other hand, practicing French in Dubai is little bit of a challenge as almost everybody speaks in English or Arabic both in business and everyday life.
It’s the challenges that make the journey more interesting! So, what’s next for you? Do you plan on learning any more languages? Or will you work on developing the ones you already learned?
I will continue to learn French for sure, advancing to higher levels. Moreover, I am thinking of taking a Chinese course together with my daughter. She will start learning French and Chinese this fall.
The perfect mom-daughter bonding! Last question, what is your advice for Emirati women and anyone wanting to start learning a foreign language?
Start with a strong commitment, and when you’re on it: don’t give up! If you find it difficult at the start, rest assured that it will get much easier as you progress through the levels. You will feel that personal triumph, which will enable you to sustain the right amount of motivation and commitment. The benefits are endless; you just have to stay focused.
Inspired to start your own language learning journey? Choose from over 160 languages.