The importance of English in education

English is simply the most important language in the world right now. Nearly 380 million people speak English as a first language and approximately three times as many speak English as a second language. It has also been estimated that by the year 2020 there will be 2 billion English speakers worldwide. Chinese Mandarin is the most spoken native language in the world with 955 million speakers; however these are mainly confined to China, Taiwan and Singapore. Spanish is the second most spoken first language with 407 million speakers, mainly in Hispanic countries and the US. Also 60 million people speak Spanish as a second language.

The language of international communication

English is the present day global Lingua Franca which means it is the recognised language of communication of people who do not share the same first language. Furthermore, it is not only the international language of commerce but it is also the leading international language of science, information technology and computing. It is also the official language of international shipping and air transport and is the main language used in publishing, education and diplomacy throughout the world.

English and employability

So from this starting point, the advantages of being fluent in English are obvious. If anyone wishes to communicate or travel internationally it is essential that they have at the very least an adequate grounding in the English language. To be proficient is preferable when seeking employment with an international business where communication with the rest of the world is required. A recent report indicated that in non-native English speaking countries the ability to speak English has become a ‘core criterion for employability’.

The digital world

A further reason for the importance of the English language today is the growth and influence of the media which uses English as its core language. Originally books and then newspapers spread the language worldwide. Then in the second half of the 20thcentury film and television, particularly from the US came to dominate the world entertainment media, furthering the desire for a working knowledge of English throughout the world. Later popular music which is again most successfully produced in English came to dominate the world music scene. And most recently the internet which has over 90% of sites written in English, has cemented English as the language of international information technology.

English: the gateway to education and career opportunity

Language enables us to learn from others and so we can develop our learning beyond the limitations of our own experience. Since English is the language most widely used across the world and in most of the major influencing fields such as business, education and internet communication it is recognised as an essential element for access to education and career development.

We work to highlight and inform on the importance of English in general and of its particular importance as a second language to ensure those for whom it is not a first language are not disadvantaged. Our objective is to promote open learning of English and provide as many people as possible with the tools to access the education system and to use this essential skill to progress and develop their job prospects and careers.


Spoken English: Usage of Have, Has – Part 2 of 3

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Spoken English: Usage of Have, Has – Part 2 of 3


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