Experts estimate that over 1.5 billion people speak English around the world! Sixty seven nations consider English their official primary language (smaller only than Chinese and Spanish), while another 27 consider English a secondary official language.
English is integral to many elements of life in the US and abroad, and English proficiency can significantly improve one’s everyday work, life, and happiness. Here are some of the many reasons so many want to learn to use the language well:
Global Travel & Communication: As the world grows more and more interconnected, being capable of communicating with people from different linguistic backgrounds becomes indispensable! If you are a non-native English speaker traveling to places where other languages are used, or you communicate with non-native English speakers virtually:
- Other non-native English speakers will probably understand your speech or writing in English better than in your native language.
- It’s more likely that folks of different linguistic backgrounds living abroad or foreigners in English-speaking places have studied English as a foreign or second language than something else.
- Few native English speakers are conversant in any foreign language, so everyone else is “obligated” to use English as a basis for communicating with them.
- In many places, after a locale’s local dialect, English is commonly used for official purposes (in government, administration, law, and public agencies).
- If you can use some form of English wherever you go, it’s like a “magic passport” to the world!
Trade, Business, & Work: Knowing English well can greatly expand people’s employment / business opportunities and success.
- Long the standard language of trade and commerce, some proficiency is required for jobs in English-speaking countries and companies in addition to large, international corporations. It is especially vital in travel, tourism, and hospitality; as an interpreter, translator, or international diplomat; or as a versatile character actor.
- Once someone gets a job, his/her ability to use English in the workplace can bring even more benefits, like building trust with co-workers and customers, improving multi-national relationships through cultural understanding, developing skills valuable to the employer, and earning more pay.
- People who make convincing use of English for their daily work might be more effective in meetings, negotiations, management, writing reports, giving presentations, and job-related social situations.
Culture & Entertainment: Who doesn’t enjoy world culture, recognize popular songs, and watch movies and TV shows made in Hollywood, Britain, or other English-only studios?
- Seeing your favorite actors or singing along to the biggest artists is better when you know the real words or dialects and can even “get the jokes.”
- Around the globe, there are more web pages, published books, magazines, newspapers, letters, and news broadcasts in English than in any other language.
Education & Knowledge: Incorporating a new language into one’s awareness expands a person’s brain power, but anyone can use his/her English abilities to learn non-linguistic subjects as well.
- As soon as someone reaches an adequate level of listening/reading comprehension, it might be more productive to take a course in another subject (history, science, math, technology, nursing, or another vocation) from English-speaking experts in that field. If a student already knows a lot about targeted topics, that knowledge will aid his/her understanding of the instructional content while improving his/her language skills.
- For learners less familiar with the subject matter, the experience will be a challenging adventure in real-life educational culture, similar to a youth’s participation in an immersion program in order to acquire English as a second language quickly.
- There are many works of literature, science, history, psychology, and other subjects that were written in English first. To get a head-start in understanding the core of the material, it may help to read it in translation before—or even better, concurrently with the original.
- If you want to study further or do research, keep in mind that English is used by the world’s top universities, in journals and other research papers, and by leading publishers. It’s the most common bridge language for presentations at conferences, especially when the audience is international.
Social & Family Life: Maybe ﬁnding a lifelong mate, getting a romantic date, or making new friends is all the motivation one needs to become conversant in English. Of course, it’s easy to meet people who know English on social media sites. But in real life, in order to really succeed in the world of functioning human beings, it’s important to be interesting and have something to oﬀer others. Your ability to help and communicate will not only boost your self‐conﬁdence and earn respect but will make you attractive to others. And, the more you know about the real world, especially in regard to verbal interaction, the better you can serve your own immediate family—by helping your kids and other relatives to learn, negotiate the intricacies of “the legal system,” and enhance their own lives.
Of course, even if English is your native language, the reasoning offered above for non-native learners applies to long-time native speakers and bilinguals as well!
We adults verbalize to fulfill our personal needs, to tell our likes and dislikes, to request information, to agree and argue, to persuade, to socialize, and to establish and maintain relationships. Words form the bases of our physical and emotional well-being, and improved English helps us all live our best lives!
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Work/Life English is an experienced provider of fun, effective English language improvement content that advances the lives of native English and English as a Second Language (ESL) speakers by improving their English competence, comprehension, and communication skills. For more information, visit www.worklifeenglish.com.