You have been practicing your English speaking skills ever since you learned your first phrases. You have been hammering away at grammar rules and soaking up English vocabulary like a sponge.
Idioms and similes are your forte!
You love putting English words together to express your ideas.
Is all that of work in vain?
The rise of nationalism threatens global growth. In these unquiet times, people everywhere are scrambling to gain an advantage – in the workplace, in academics and in financial markets, even as borders threaten closure and citizens of various countries revert to an ‘us first!’ mentality.
Considering all that, should learning English be at the top of anyone’s list?
Today’s technology permits reaching out across the world (Source: Pixabay Credit: Geralt)
Ten years ago, mobile phones were still a novelty; small devices with few features. Something the well-to-do or those at the cutting edge of society couldn’t live without. They were more of a status symbol than a functional part of our existence.
Did anyone foresee the dominance smartphones would have over our lives?
Everywhere in the world, people are looking for WIFI connections and poring over their small screens. On the bus or the tube, you may have seen people watching movies they’d downloaded. Apps are springing up seemingly overnight.
The language pertaining to electronics is overwhelmingly English.
Few languages around the globe have created their own words for the phenomenon of digital technology.
Iceland has its own technical language but still borrows from English
In Poland, words such as joystick, cartridge and interface have made their way into the language, albeit spelled phonetically in that country’s language
Germany borrows from English wholesale: words such as computer, website, software and others remain the same; verbs such as downloading, crashing and booting retain their English root but are conjugated as German verbs
Denglish incorporates everyday English vocabulary into the German language
The Chinese practice a combination of English word adoption and literal word translation to expand their lexicon of technical and common conversation words.
France generally resists importing English words; still some terms manage to enter their vocabulary, such as: webcam, boot, reboot and bootable, and email.
Because English words are so often borrowed by other languages, it makes sense to continue to improve your English. Doing so will help you stay competitive in society.
When you think of movies, does Bollywood or Hong Kong cinema come to mind? Or are you picturing Hollywood blockbusters?
In fact, the UK is the second-largest film exporter, after America.
While it seems that every country except Japan, Mexico and Brazil enjoy British comedy and biopics, American movies rate higher on the international stage.
Naturally, these films are all in English.
If you need to sharpen your listening skills and improve your reading skills, watching movies with English subtitles is a great way to do it.
This branch of the entertainment industry also ranks British and American artists as those who have had the most global sales and downloads in 2016.
That is not to say that J-pop and K-pop (from Japan and Korea, respectively) are not worth listening to; in fact, Gangnam Style, by Korean artist Psy topped the music charts in a number of countries, including the UK.
China’s Little Apple had the same effect, a few years later. It even won the American music award for best international song.
In spite of these successes, songs in English consistently top the charts and outsell music from any other country, all over the world.
Music is a great way to get familiar with rhyming words and phrases. Singing along can help you with your English pronunciation.
Podcasts fit that description perfectly. They are topic-specific mono- or dialogues, either video or audio-only, that you can download from the Internet and play whenever you like, as often as you like.
You can subscribe to a podcast, if its topic interests to you. New installments will be automatically downloaded to your preferred device – phone, tablet or computer as soon as they are available.
The British Council hosts a podcast directed at people who are studying English as a second language, as well as those preparing for Ielts.
You can subscribe to podcasts that address only business English: how to develop business English vocabulary, proper syntax of business language and how to project competence and enthusiasm while speaking English.
You can listen to podcasts that discuss music, movies, sports or politics, presented by a native English speaker, as a way to improve English comprehension.
The language of science is English (Source: Pixabay Credit: MasterTux)
Until the early 20th Century, scientists held conferences and published new findings in German.
Due to great advancements in the world of medicine and physics, as well as the political climate at the time, English became the preferred speech of the scientific community – initially in Europe, and soon throughout the world.
Today, an estimated 98% of all scientific papers are published in English.
Science is no longer the purview of those trained in the discipline. Environmental and health concerns impact everyone and we all bear the responsibility of protecting the future.
The more you learn of scientific terms, the more you can participate.
Whether you intend to use the language in your daily life or you are simply interested in studying the speech that more than 1.5 billion people across the globe can converse in, learning English makes sense.
In spite of news reports hinting at tighter borders and more stringent import laws, international trade companies will continue to ship goods around the globe.
The language of business is English, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
If you are studying English as a second language, you might consider developing a business English vocabulary as well, so that you might participate in, and benefit from this lucrative employment sector.
According to the latest reports, people from all over the world are traveling to discover new cultures and lands.
The premier language of the tourism industry is English.
People of all ages, all over the world are taking English lessons online, if only to be understood when they leave their native land.
Global industries such as technology, science and fashion are not restricted to any one country, or its native language.
Academics are not limited to a single nation’s history, culture and politics, either.
Teachers, tutors and technicians, even sales professionals who are proficient at more than one language – one of them being English, tend to earn more, and enjoy greater competitiveness in the workplace.
Learning English will help you find your place on the global stage. (Source: Pixabay Credit: Geralt)
Learn how to make English learning easy with our guide to simplifying ESOL courses.
If you are learning English as a second language, let us give you some tips to claim your place on this global, English speaking stage.
Learn a few new words and phrases each week and use them often, until they naturally fall into your vernacular.
Incorporate some slang and idioms, just to make learning English more fun
Play word games and take quizzes online
Learn how to use verb tenses effectively
Keeping a diary in English will help you develop your writing skills
To improve your listening skills, watch movies and listen to music
Practice your spoken English with native speakers
Speak English every day, no matter how poor you think your language skills are.
Chances are, you are better than you think!
The more you practise, the more fluent you will become which, in turn, will boost your confidence and desire to learn more English.
As an English learner, you are among the global ranks of those who study English as a foreign language.
Your fluency in English can help you secure employment in the most competitive markets.
Learning business English could increase your chances of being hired by a multinational corporation.
If you prefer, you can put your skills to use as an English teacher in your native country, either through online tutoring or by making podcasts.
You can build a tutoring profile at Superprof, offering not only English classes to non native speakers, but also promoting your native language and culture by teaching native English speakers.
You can teach English to ESL students in your corner of Britain, helping them gain literacy in their adopted country.
Or you could help non native speakers acclimate to their new environment by teaching them a few common phrases, just to get them started on the path to learning British English properly.
Volunteer organizations and community centres can always use a hand helping others learn basic English.
Whether you choose to demonstrate your proficiency with the English language through employment with a Fortune 500 company, compose theses for a scientific journal or quietly help those around you to learn English, rest assured that you are a member of a large, global, English speaking community.
Discover how learning English can give you greater access to higher education and online materials.