Throughout history English has become a global language, spoken all over the world. It gained popularity with the expansion of the British Empire, its economic power in the acquired colonies and its political influence in Europe.
But what is a “world” language and what are its specific characteristics? There is no absolute criteria to define it, but the number of native and second-language speakers, its geographical distribution and use in international and diplomatic contexts are all indicators of its level of importance. There are also other factors determining the popularity of a language, such as for example its structures, vocabulary and literature, as well as its relations with other great cultures and religions.
So, why would people want to learn English? First of all, most of the in-demand jobs require the applicants to be proficient in English. The higher the level, the more likely it is to get a good position or a quick promotion, especially in the fields of tourism, advertisement, event management, publishing, communication and research or public relations. People who know English also have higher chances to succeed in interviews, pass exams and get language certifications such as IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC, which means higher chances to get a career abroad. Furthermore, any company competing in the global economy and doing business abroad need competent employees to communicate with foreign buyers and partners.
According to statistics, English is the most widespread language in the world, more spoken and written than any other one. There are over 400 million people speaking English as a first language, second in number only to the ones speaking Chinese. Many more people speak English as a second or third language: up to 2 billion. In this precise moment, roughly 1 billion people around the world are learning English. Here is another interesting fact: three quarters of the worlds’ emails is written in English, and the most widely published language is English, with more than 50% of the worlds’ technical and scientific periodicals in English. Even more impressive, 80% of the contents on the Internet are in English.
To sum up, being good at English can open up employment opportunities that would be unthinkable otherwise. If you want to improve your chances, then improve your English! Fluency in an internationally spoken language will bring you not only personal satisfaction, it will improve your career and change your life forever!