Why study English? Top 10 reasons:
Airports, roads and trains stations pretty much use English as their stand-by language in most parts of the world. Hotel staff are more likely to speak English than any other second language and it’s the language used by pilots. Learning English makes travel easier.
Speaking a second language make you more employable. And while there is certainly value in learning some of the less widely spoken language like Finish, Korean or Tagalog, let’s face it, employers are looking for you to speak one of the more widely spoken languages, and with so many people speaking English as a second language, English is the natural choice.
You might not need a second language to get an entry level job, but the higher up the corporate ladder you go, the more likely it is you will need to make overseas trips, attend meeting or conferences in English. Knowing English assists you to promote your products, skills and services to a wider world. So there are strong financial rewards for knowing the language.
It is estimated that 80% of the world’s research and academic papers are published in English. While the number of papers published in other languages is increasing annually, British and American universities have a clear lead in the number of highly regarded peer reviewed journals, so when a Norwegian, Dutch or Taiwanese researcher makes a breakthrough development, that’s where they want to publish their work. So if you want to access cutting edge technology, you need English.
5. Mental Stimulation
Learning a language is excellent mental stimulation. The brain is like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Of course you can get the benefits from studying from any language, but since it takes a lot of work and commitment, you might as well learn a language thats really useful.
6. New Experiences
Learning a language opens up new experiences. You can talk with people from different countries and cultures. You can watch their movies, listen to their music, visit their countries, read their literature and chat with them. If you learn English you could potentially do this with 1,800,000,000 people!
7. Know Your First Language
The more you study another language the more you learn about your own. When you learn how one language functions, you begin draw parallels with another. When we learn a new language we inevitably end up comparing it to how our own works, so the very act of grappling with another way of speaking reinforces the knowledge of your own language. As a veteran school director, I firmly believe that teachers who have learnt other languages have an advantage when they teach English – they have a deeper understanding of both the language, and what it takes to learn it.
The internet is a great way to make new friends. You can chat online or communicate through social networking sites. If you can use English then you have a pool of over 2 billion people to choose from.
9. Life Skills
Learning language takes practice patience, and persistence. Learning a language is a long term endeavor; it doesn’t come easy and requires dedication and commitment. You have to put in a lot of time doing routine memorizing and remain focused, thorough and analytical yet also stay open minded and be willing to risk embarrassment. Learning a new language forces you to confront your own limitations as you struggle with new ways of doing things. It can be a humbling experience to be reduced to illiteracy, or being unable to express yourself. But all these things teach valuable life skills that build you as a person, and which you can apply to other areas of your life.
10. World Peace
The world needs more conversations between people from different parts of the world. If we can communicate with each other, and through dialogue come to understand each other’s viewpoints, then perhaps we can avoid demonizing each other and gain a deeper understanding of our common humanity. Maybe that sounds like a long shot, but the more we talk with others, the more we realise how much we share, and it sure beats the alternative of living isolated in our own linguistic islands of mutual distrust and xenophobia.