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An Estimated 1.5 Billion People Are Studying English Worldwide
According to British Council member John Knagg, there are 1.5 billion English-language learners worldwide. The number of English learners around the world is only expected to grow. English is currently spoken by 1.75 billion people worldwide — one out of every four people on the planet, according to the British Council’s report, “The English Effect”. The group estimates that by 2020, 2 billion people will be using the language.
English is not only used to communicate with native speakers but is the ‘lingua franca’ between nations where English is not the primary language. It is used as a common tongue throughout the world to make it more convenient to conduct business and other transactions.
Here are some interesting facts about English:-
“Did you know that of all the world’s languages (over 2,700) English is arguably the richest in vocabulary; and that the Oxford English Dictionary lists about 500,000 words, and there are a half-million technical and scientific terms still uncatalogued?”
If you are planning to study overseas, you may find that your school has a minimum requirement of English that you must meet in order to attend. In fact, most schools in English-speaking countries require that you have a minimum understanding and proficiency in English — commonly determined based on English language exams, such as, IELTS, Cambridge or Trinity.
Most international business is conducted in English. Are you looking to be employed by an international company? Many international companies have minimum English language requirements in order to advance in your career. Even if the people in your workplace all speak your native tongue, you may find that corporate information is all in English! Having English as a skill would allow you to read and understand magazines, journals and newspapers that have worldwide recognition. It would also allow you to attend conferences and seminars, and connect with other individuals in your industry.
There are over 6,500 languages spoken around the world. Whether for business, education, or social interaction, you may find that language is the barrier separating you from the international community. After Mandarin, English is the most commonly spoken language throughout the world. While there are a host of languages you could learn, English is considered to be one of the most important languages to learn.
Do you like science? If you do, then English is a must! In 2010, an estimate of 80-90% of all papers published in scientific journals was written in English. If this is not enough to convince you of the importance of English, you will find that there is over a billion pages of websites in English – which is the primary language of the internet. The number of ways English can come in handy is limitless!
Now, some may say that English is decreasing in importance because of emerging markets. As developing countries like China and India continue to grow, it is predicted that other languages will emerge and will outnumber the population of English speakers. Even if this is the case, there is no doubt that English will still be an important language to have as part of your skill set.
“English is considered to be one of the most important languages to learn.”