Learning to speak English can make a huge difference in your life and open many doors of opportunity for you. The British Council estimates that by 2020, 2 billion people around the world will be speaking and learning English. That’s one out of every four people!
Do you have family members in an English-speaking country? Does your job require you to know English? Or maybe you like to watch English TV?
Learning English might seem difficult, but there are many ways to learn, and many places to find help. English grammar is actually simpler than the grammar of other languages. Because it is the most common language in the world, English learning resources are endless, and many of them are free! How would your life be different if you could speak English?
Many people think that they won’t need to speak English unless they visit an English-speaking country, like England or the United States. But that isn’t true. In Europe, for example, there are 24 recognized languages, not counting the new languages brought to the EU by refugees. There is a huge need for one common language to aid in communication across borders of our shrinking world, and that language has become English.
Imagine that you are a native Italian speaker, traveling in Japan. The desk clerk at your hotel will probably not speak Italian, but chances are good that he or she will speak English.
You will be meeting people from many places when you travel, and English will most likely be the language you share. English can help you make new friends and expand your view of the world. You’ll be able to explore new cultures and develop an appreciation for the many different things the world has to offer, if you learn to speak the most commonly spoken language in the world.
If you can communicate in English, you will have a valuable skill no matter where you are in the world. Whether you are reading road signs in Mexico, taking a class in Korea, or having a video conference with people from Europe, you will find English to be a common language.
If you have a business, you will see that English is the most commonly accepted language of business around the world because it is spoken in the US, the UK, India, South Africa and Canada. For example, if you speak Arabic and you are doing business with someone in Russia, you can communicate easily if you both speak English.
Your English skills will also help you find a job in the current global market. English is the language of science, computing, tourism, aviation, and more. Many of the world’s largest tech companies are based in English-speaking countries.
If you know English, you can easily work in a multinational company, or in one of these global markets. Even large companies that are not based in English-speaking countries, like Samsung and Airbus, do worldwide business and have mandated that English will be their official company language. Since 2010, all of the over 7,000 employees at Japanese company Rakuten have been required to speak English. Needless to say, companies who do business globally need employees who can speak English.
Need another reason to learn English for business? Workers who speak English can earn 25% more money than workers who don’t. Think about how this will affect your standard of living and your income over your whole life!
Ongoing monitoring has shown that over 50% of websites have homepages that are written in English. The vast majority of scientific papers are written in English, and the top 50 scientific journals in the world are written in English and published either in the UK or the USA. Many worldwide news outlets are broadcast in English. Your best source for news and information? English!
Many great historical works of literature and science were written in English. If you can read them in the original language, you will catch all of the author’s original intent. You might also want to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the original English, to get all of the original meaning and detail.
It’s no surprise that many people around the world have seen English movies and television. Hollywood is prominent in the entertainment industry, so many films, TV shows, and popular music are written in English. If you know English, you will be able to enjoy these in the original language, without needing subtitles or dubbing.
Many people have learned English only by watching American TV or reading books and magazines written in English. This will work, but it can be frustrating and take a long time, so I don’t recommend it! But it can definitely help you to immerse yourself in the English language while you are learning.
Language cannot be separated from culture. If you study English, you will also learn a lot about how people in English-speaking countries think and live. You will also be able to tell them how you think and live. Having a common language can improve international understanding and trust.
It’s no secret that learning another language keeps your brain healthy! Scientists tell us that the process of linking new vocabulary with known vocabulary, such as knowing that the Spanish word for “dog” is “perro,” builds new neural connections in your brain. This keeps your brain healthy and flexible. There is also evidence that people who study another language can delay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s in people who are predisposed to these diseases.
People who are bilingual will often score better on tests and absorb new information more quickly. Learning a new language also takes time and commitment, and that will help you develop perseverance and patience. With a little bit of study every day, you will not only learn a valuable skill, but you will learn how to learn. You’ll gain confidence and develop a sense of adventure as you think about all the ways you can use your new language.
That can unlock a whole new world of possibilities for you! Learn more about the benefits of English fluency with hundreds of free lessons here.
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