The world is becoming increasingly globalised, which provides opportunities for people to interact across countries, languages and cultures in ways that have not been seen before. Whilst English does not have the highest number of native speakers in the world, it is the official language of fifty-three countries and the most commonly spoken language in the world. Approximately 1.5 billion people across the globe speak English. This means that one in five people in the world, (20% of the world’s population) can communicate in English.
It is projected that by 2020, 2 billion people will be studying English.
The English language has gained in popularity for a number of reasons. Being skilled and proficient in English provides students with access to a world of knowledge, commerce and culture, in a way that no other languages do. To study at the world’s most highly ranked schools and universities in America, Britain or Australia, a student needs to demonstrate a predetermined proficiency in English. Proficiency and skilled use of the English language can enhance education, career and business opportunities as English is the language of international communication and international business.
The importance of learning English for students whose mother tongue is not English cannot be understated; learning English can change and improve their lives.