Udemy logo

Learning language - English. Blackboard education concept sayingEnglish is now a global lingua franca, but was first a West Germanic language spoken in medieval England. Currently, this is the first language for the majority of the population in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada, a few Caribbean nations and New Zealand.

There are about 375 million English as a first language speakers and 750 million English as a second language speakers. English as official or special status in at least 70 countries. Just hearing the numbers gives you an inkling of just how important English is.

The market for English as a Second Language (ESL) is booming and more individuals are studying courses such as this one that will help them improve your own accent and understand native English. English learners opt to take English to cultivate ground for communication socially with others and to become part of a global economy.

The History of English

English came about in England’s Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and what is now the south-eastern part of Scotland. Following extensive influences of the United Kingdom and Great Britain throughout the British Empire from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, the language has been propagated widely around the world.

Old English is the collective term for the fusion of closely related dialects resulted in English. Germanic settlers who settled on Great Britain’s eastern coast spoke this language, which at the time was called Angles. Ultimately, this was from the Schleswig-Holstein or what used to be the Angeln ancestral region. Influence also came from the Viking invasions in the ninth and tenth centuries.

Getting Around

The influence of Great Britain and the United States on international relations and political affairs for the past century has ensured acceptance and proliferation of English as the main language spoken in many countries. The widespread American pop culture acceptance has also made contributions to the primacy of the language of English.

For high ranking officials and diplomats in major countries such as Russia, Italy, Brazil, South Korea, France, Japan and Germany, a working knowledge of English is important. This way, they can better comprehend the craft and nuance of international diplomacy and global affairs.

In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, the importance of English cannot be overstated. For immigrants by the millions that come to the USA from countries that don’t speak English, learning how to communicate in English is important to come into and ultimately become successful in America’s mainstream.

When you travel to countries where English is the main language, it is important to speak and understand it. Throughout Canada, the US and the UK, shopping and traveling is often made easier by speaking English since many people may not speak other languages. When you speak English, you will be able to communicate more easily with the locals and explore the regions that may otherwise remain unknown. In Europe, many people learn English in school so knowing the language is a benefit you can enjoy when traveling to places where it is not the native language.

Many opportunities in international regions and markets are created when you have working knowledge of English grammar, the way this elements of English course teaches you. Designed to help high school and college students as well as English language learners, this course will focus on the technical aspects of the language for the purposes of studying and business.

In many countries and markets, knowing English opens opportunities of job employment, especially when you take a course like this one. For example, English is the communication medium in fields such as science and aviation. In these fields, many of the available jobs will be closed to you if you don’t speak English.

Multilateral agencies and institutions in the four United Nation cities of Geneva, The Hague, Vienna and New York recruit multilingual-skilled professionals. However, they also expect each candidate to have good skills of speaking English. The 50-plus countries that were former British

dependencies or colonies making up the Commonwealth of Nations also offer numerous opportunities of employment to those who communicate in and understand English. You can brush up on English by taking courses such as this one that show you 8 secrets to English success.

Major destinations for tourists such as Australia, Great Britain and the United States all use English as a first language. Plus, even countries that don’t speak English offer services for tourists in English. The moment you learn to speak and read the English language, you can speak to everyone you meet in the course of your travels.

When traveling to locations where people speak English, you won’t have to worry about being able to find someone to help you with direction you can understand if you lose your way. When dining out, you can order dishes you actually like since you will understand all the ingredients written in English.

English is Important for Children

Standard English as a subject is crucial for kids to learn. For younger children, learning this language as soon as they can will help them with developing communication skills, basic math and basic reading. For older kids, having proper skills in English enables them to write more effectively and understand more complex literary pieces. Empowering kids to learn correct English will help them do well in school, particularly in the English subject. It will also help them understand every subject taught in this language.

Effective communication involves the use of proper pronunciation and grammar. The sooner children learn this, the better. These days, children are exposed to standard English whether they live in a native English speaking country or not. Those that live in foreign countries where the native language is not English are still exposed to the language due to parents that speak English or through their teachers and caretakers, which can only be to their benefit.

In children, language development coincides with thought development in younger children. Alongside language skills, cognitive skills occur. Thus, children struggling with language development will also struggle with other areas of development and academic subjects. Language is both receptive and expressive communication. Receptive language is communication and speech which is understood and received. Expressive language is gestured or spoken communication.

Skills of English literacy and language develop together. Early English literacy and language skills require an engaging environment and social interaction. This develops years before kids have formal schooling. In the past, experts believed that kids developed language skills separately and were capable of acquiring skills of literacy. These days, it is found that these are intertwined skills and that a child does not develop these skills isolated from each other.

Developing language skills is an early predictor of success in school. It is also one of the best predictors of the academic achievement of a child. When children excel at language skills, all other academic skills are affected. Essentially, reading takes meaning form print and children are able to take these printed symbols and infuse them with meaning due to early language development.

While not expressed in newly born children, capabilities of language are hardwired clearly into human beings. On the other hand, without an environment providing interaction and language modelling, children will not develop capabilities for language with which he was born.

To build a child’s literacy and skills in English, provide your child with an environment rich in the language. Converse to him constantly and read to him daily. Answer and ask questions, engaging him in conversations frequently. Have pictures, papers, magazines and books around for your child to see and let him observe you reading as well. Playing background English alphabet music or nursery rhymes in English will also help your child get used to the way English sounds.

In an English-speaking country, English language development is important for the ability of a child to express and convey emotion. This begins with the beginning coos and babbles of an infant and the connections begin built between the child and the care givers. Early languages consist more of verbalizing needs by crying, and gradually give way to verbalization. As the language development of a child improves, fewer emotional outbursts and tantrums occur. Children can convey emotions through words are able to be more socially successful in school settings and deal more effectively with academic and school tasks.

English is Important for Career Development

In an article, The Economist noted that more and more global companies have adopted English as their main language It is also worth noting that English is being adopted by international companies from countries that don’t speak English to become the official language, replacing their own native language.

Hiroshi Mikitani of the Rakuten Group in Japan is one example. As the operator of the chain Uniqlo, he made his entire staff learn English and once made a warning to fire or at the very least, demote those who were not very fluent. Mikitani holds the belief that the language of English helps in promoting attributes such as creativity and free thinking among employees. .

Another example is Yang Yuanqing, the CEO of the Lenovo Company in China. At the age of forty Yuanqing made it a point to become highly fluent in English. By doing this, he set a personal example for the entire company. Yuanqing made it a point to watch American TV and learn with a private tutor everyday despite his grueling schedule. Currently, he is able to conduct each board meeting in English fluently.

Trends such as these mean that English is becoming more and more important in career development.

English is the Primary Instruction in Higher Learning

In colleges and universities in Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States and Great Britain which attract the most number of students from other countries, English is the primary language of instruction.

Many advanced-study institutes, medical centers and top business schools are located in Great Britain and North America and the language used in these higher- learning institutions’ every activity happens to be English. Most technical periodicals and peer-reviewed journals that give international acclaim to technocrats, technologists, engineers and scientists are printed in English.

So, if you plan on attending a school in the USA, English is something you will have to learn. Many universities require that students from other countries where the first language is not English take a proficiency test. Often, native-speaking tutors are hired by students to help them pass the test, or they take English review classes. For test preparation, people also take online classes which this article explains in detail.

Page Last Updated: February 2020

English Language students also learn

Empower your team. Lead the industry.

Get a subscription to a library of online courses and digital learning tools for your organization with Udemy Business.

Request a demo