Why is learning English so important?
At present, the number of people devoting their time to study English as a second language (ESL) is increasing by leaps and bounds. Children are also being motivated to learn English at a younger age. So, what is the value of learning English?
Studying English can help you grow both personally and professionally: it could be planning to travel all around the world or job hunting.
So, here are some valid reasons for learning English.
- Most used and widely spoken language in the world: English is a global language. One out of five people can speak or at least understand English. It is the official language of 57 countries and is used as a lingua franca (a common language between speakers whose native languages are different) by people from all over the world. This means studying English will make you a global citizen and help you strike up a conversation with people from all around the world.
- Expands your educational opportunities: Numerous schools and universities all around the world offer programmes in English. If you are a good speaker of academic English, you can get an opportunity to enroll yourself in an appropriate and distinguished university or school; or take a course that coincides with your needs, within your country or abroad. English is considered as the language of higher education and highly reputed universities like Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, for example, need you to speak the language fluently in order to get admission. You will have an illustrious career to begin with, if you get the golden opportunity to study in such top league universities. It means learning English is a stepping stone to a better education. Your knowledge of English will also help you gain access to innumerable rich resources in English and will prevent you from getting lost in translation.
- A career bolster: Learning English can boost your career prospects. The knowledge of English increases your job prospects significantly, both in your country and abroad. By acquiring English language skills, you could have an edge over a candidate, who is conversant only with one language. Additionally, within your company or organization your knowledge of English would make you eligible for promotions or better opportunities: working with overseas clients, who know only English or traveling to an English-speaking country on business. As a confident user of the language, you will be able to communicate better and establish a better connect with your superiors and colleagues. Also, as a language of business, English comes in handy while speaking to international clients or colleagues.
- Language of the internet: English is the language of the digital age/era. Considered as a universal language, it is the most dominant language used online. It encompasses the largest hub of information online in the form of white papers, essays, news and many more resources. Also, the content of most of the texts, search engines, YouTube videos, podcasts, websites accessed through the net is primarily in English. All this content isn’t always translated in English. Knowledge of the language can serve as a digital door opener for you and will help you access all the information available on the net.
- Dominant language of business: English is extremely important in the corporate world and it is of paramount importance for people to speak English if they are to enter the global market. Multinational companies like Airbus, Nokia, Samsung, to name a few have mandated English as the common corporate language and expect their employees to be fluent in English.
Also, your knowledge of English helps you attend or conduct international business meetings, wherein the language of communication is English. Moreover, if the company you work for has English-speaking customers or potentials clients, your English speaking skills will help you establish a better rapport with them and also help you sell products or services. Additionally, the cultural knowledge accumulated while learning the language will aid you pitch products and ideas in an effective manner to such customers. Lastly, global trade is also carried out in English as the deals need to cracked on the basis of language shared by all the parties involved in business, which is English.
- Language of international communication: English eclipses other languages in international communication. It is a leading player in academia and the official language of the United Nations, Interpol, NATO, to name a few.
- Language of the media and rich literature: Due to the importance of Hollywood in global media, many films, TV shows and famous songs are scripted in English. The content of over-the-top (OTT) platforms (Netflix, Prime Video), which are very popular nowadays is mainly in English. Many print and electronic media also use English to disseminate information. Moreover, knowledge of English will serve as a key to unlock rich literature written or translated into English from all over the world. It will open the door to literary legends like Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and accomplished writers and poets like J.K Rowling, Haruki Murakami, Emily Dickinson and Vikram Seth, to name a few. In other words, if you learn/know English, you will not have to lean/depend on subtitles and/or translations to savour your favourite films, TV shows, series, news and books.
- Language of science: English is the scientific lingua franca (mutually known language) and the bridge language of science. It helps expedite the process of communication among researchers, scientists and policy makers in the discipline. A lot of scientific literature including research papers are published in English. Therefore, having a knowledge of English is extremely important for people working in this field.
Also, learning English can give you a head start in medical school and help you with the tools you need to study at one of the world’s best universities for science.
- Provides you a helping hand in attending international events and conferences:
Major international events and conferences are conducted in English. At such events/conferences the delegates/competitors need to speak in English to put forth their ideas and to socialize with one another effectively. You might be required to attend such conferences as a part of your career and your knowledge of English will pay rich dividends in the long run.
- Knowledge of English enhances your travel experience: The advantages of speaking English when you travel are manifold and varied. In many countries English is considered the ‘international language’, which is used by travelers and local people when communicating with each other.
Your knowledge of English will help you perform important tasks while travelling like making reservations, ordering food, book accommodations, to name a few. It will also make you self-reliant and you will not have to depend a lot on tourist guides and would be in a better position to explore tourist attractions on your own. Lastly, it will help you connect better with other visitors and people like immigration officers, cab drivers and localities. It will thus make travelling an enjoyable and pleasant experience.
- Access to the culture of English-speaking countries: Language and culture are inseparable. Learning English will provide you more insight into how people living in English-speaking countries think and work. Your knowledge of taboo /unacceptable and acceptable words, expressions and etiquette might save you from cultural misunderstandings with your friends, colleagues and clients from English-speaking countries.
- Learning English is easy and fun: Learning English is easier than some other languages like French, German, Japanese, or Arabic. It has no cases, gender and the grammatical structures are also fairly simple. Another important reason why English is easier to learn is the fact that there are innumerable rich resources available to learn from in the form of books, videos, podcasts, movies, songs and websites. This is because it is the most studied foreign language in the world. You will also find learner-specific content and tutoring to study English on the net and digital applications to help you learn and improve the language.
Learning English is also fun! It will help you communicate with people from different parts of the world, understand varied cultures and enhance your personality.
To conclude, whether your aim is to travel extensively, learn about diverse cultures, socialize more easily with native speakers and other students, become an entrepreneur, work internationally or study overseas, building strong English skills will help you achieve these goals. It would not be an exaggeration to say that English no longer belongs to the native speakers, but to the whole world – including you.