by Katherine Reilly
December is finally here and some of my students are taking their exams soon. One of the questions I asked them during their final preparation is “Why are you studying English?” Some looked at each other, while the bolder ones answered, “To get a job.”
To some certain extent, that’s actually true. However, landing a job isn’t the only reason to get yourself better acquainted with this language. English is THE Global Language and knowing how to use it, is the key to many opportunities in life.
English is the official language in 53 countries. If you think about it, there are 195 countries which means that if you master this language you will be able to communicate with more than 25% of the world’s population; not taking into account the countries which officially state English as a second language or at least speak it at a basic or average level. Statistics show that English is spoken by more than 400 million people around the world. Making new acquaintances or simply travelling for personal or professional reasons, this language is the most valuable tool you need to get around.
Social Media. Like it or not, this is the most common language used in ANY Social Media platform around the world. Humanity is undeniably connected via this method of interaction which has dominated social structures to the core. ‘Socialization’ is intricately linked to technology and not being a part of it will in most cases lead you to isolation from any social circle.
The Internet. Not only is Social Media in English, but approximately 51% of the Web is. That means that the search for information, communicating and education is mostly based off this language. Anyone would face tremendous difficulties when purchasing a plane ticket or simple tasks like looking for a recipe if over half the searches are in an unknown tongue.
Education. Scholarships, courses, post graduate studies and so many more opportunities to improve ourselves and our resume will only be had if we know this language. The most prestigious establishments are in the UK and the USA, which means that you eliminate all chances of setting a foot in one of these if you can’t speak the language well (and in most cases, at an excellent level).
Online Purchases. The Internet has literally changed our everyday habits. One such example is shopping. Just wonder how difficult it would be if you didn’t know how to finalize a purchase or pay the wrong amount of money. Other cases include complaining for a faulty product you bought, demanding for a replacement or your money back.
Entertainment. Who doesn’t enjoy a good movie or a catchy song? Theaters across the globe are dominated by films which are mostly in English, as well as the music industry with its countless artists not only of American or British heritage, but from around the world as well. Actors and Musicians focus their endeavors on a broader audience and the best way to do so is by the use of an international language.
Occupation. As my students mentioned, getting a job is a reason to study English, however, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. As individuals, we need to have a broader knowledge and perception of the world around us. Communicating with ease and the ability to present a solid argument, are skills developed and mastered through this language.
Studying and holding a degree isn’t enough to get a foot in the door. A combination of all the aforementioned factors will lead to success, and the main ingredient to success, is English.