Author: Florencia Anastasia Tesno
English. What pops up in your mind when you hear that word? Most people would think of it as a language or one of the subjects they study at school every week. Besides that, English is the international language currently used by citizens all around the world to communicate. It is indeed crucial for us to master English if we want to have particular benefits nowadays and of course in the future. https://youtube.com/shorts/uFGFlZ1AOXI?feature=share
But sadly, a lot of people, especially Indonesians, are still not realizing the importance of having excellent English skills. Research shows that Indonesians’ English skills are considered low and ranked 74 among 100 other countries worldwide (Education First, 2020). This is, of course, a serious problem that we need to fix because, as a student striving for success, being able to communicate in English is one of the most crucial skills that we need to master. Thus, this article is here to tell everyone four ways English could affect or even change our lives in the future.
English allows you to communicate better with everyone else around the world.
According to the Globed (2019), English is the official language used by native speakers in 61 countries to communicate. Other than that, it has been the lingua franca or language used to connect individuals with different mother tongues as a second or foreign language for a long time (Knapp & Meierkord, 2002). So, by learning English, you could change your life by speaking and connecting better with people from different countries and regions than those who are not fluent in it. And with that, you could get to know more people and gain immense connections. You could also obtain new insights from different points of view worldwide.
English opens more prominent access to various information and knowledge universally.
Since English is the current language used to communicate internationally, authors would have to write their works in English to gain recognition from more audiences worldwide. Therefore, you will find tons of books, journals, reports, and other kinds of scholarly sources written in English. As a matter of fact, 98% of scientific publications worldwide are written in English (Ramírez-Castañeda, 2020). With that, you will most likely find more popular and well-written books or scientific works in English than other languages. As a student, you need to prepare for your future studies by enriching yourself with more information or finding reliable information for your school works. Hence, it would be life-changing for you to have strong English skills, especially reading and writing skills.
English extends more extensive opportunities for you in education, in this case, universities.
The majority of students want to study in a prestigious university as an assurance for their future careers. Generally speaking, there are two options for senior high school students who wish to continue their studies. The first option is studying inside the country, and the second one is learning outside the country. Both possibilities need excellent English skills at some points, especially the second one. If you want to study abroad, not only would you have to be fluent in the country’s native language, but you also need to have excellent English skills since it is the language used internationally. Most universities would have you to take tests in order to evaluate your English ability, like IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) as a condition of entry. Thus, if you want to change your life by studying in a prestigious university in the future, especially abroad, you need to have strong English skills.
English could help you achieve great career opportunities.
English plays a significant role in the workplace. In fact, it is the international business language. It allows local and international companies to build business relations globally. Additionally, around 40% of employees from various companies and sectors need advanced English skills. These skills are required in order to write emails and letters, deliver presentations, participate in meetings, and read reports (Cambridge English, 2016). With that, dozens of companies, especially international ones, are expecting excellent English skills for their current or future employees. In addition, it is said that more than 60% of workers in different sectors like management, marketing, accounting & finance, sales, human resources or personnel, production, customer services, and logistics or distributions have the English skills to succeed in their roles (Cambridge English, 2016). Thus, by having excellent English skills, you will not only open new and great career opportunities for yourself in the future, but you will also be able to compete in the workplace, especially international ones. So, if you aim for a secure and qualified career in the future, having excellent English skills is the key.
In conclusion, English could change your life by making you communicate with more people universally, opening more prominent access to various information and knowledge worldwide, extending more extensive opportunities in education, and achieving great career opportunities. Thus, fluency in English plays a significant role in our future lives. Now that you have made it here, you may be wondering ways to upgrade your English skills. Do not worry, whether it is your 1st or 100th day in learning English, it is never too late to learn.
Here are a few tips and tricks for you to improve your English skills:
1. Have a great motivation.
Everyone has a different motivation to study English. On one hand, some would learn English merely because it’s one of the subjects they study at school. On the other hand, some would study English because they enjoy reading English books or watching American series on streaming sites like Netflix. Either way is good since learning a new language is never a wrong decision, especially the life-changing language, English. But it will be better for you to study English truly because you want to master it. That way, you will find learning English fun and enjoyable.
2. Make a mini dictionary for yourself.
Every time you read or hear an unknown English word, search for the meaning in a translator app or an English dictionary. After that, write the new vocabulary in your physical or digital notebook. So, when you find the word again, it would be easier for you to search and memorize the equivalent.
3. Do not be afraid of making mistakes.
As human beings, it is normal for us to make mistakes, especially while learning something new. Mistakes are a part of our learning process, so instead of being ashamed or afraid of our mistakes, it will be better to learn from them. Try to communicate using English as often as you can and confidently take criticism as a chance for you to be better in the future.
Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021: https://www.ef.co.id/writing-competition
Cambridge English. (2016). English at work: global analysis of language skills in the workplace. Cambridge English Language Assessment. http://englishatwork.cambridgeenglish.org/
Education First (2020). The world’s largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills. https://www.ef.com/wwen/epi/
Globed. (2019). List of countries where English is an official language. http://www.globed.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/English_official_language.pdf
Knapp, K., & Meierkord, C. (2002) Lingua franca communication. Peter Lang Pub Inc.
Ramírez-Castañeda, V. (2020). Disadvantages in preparing and publishing scientific papers caused by the dominance of the English language in science: The case of Colombian researchers in biological sciences. PLoS ONE 15(9): Article e0238372. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone
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