Author: Michael Stanley Hartono

We all communicate everyday, whether it’s giving a speech or calling your friend orsending a simple text message. We do it by stringing multiple words in a particular language to form a sequence we call a sentence that can be comprehended by others.

Although we can communicate using our mother tongue, it is simply not enough for the modern world we live in. According to Ethnologue, there are currently 7,117 languages spoken all around the world. Of these languages, English is the most spoken with around 1,35 billion speakers worldwide either as a native language or a second language, slightly more than Mandarin Chinese. English as a global language makes it a fundamental part of our lives as it has made it possible for us to connect with people all across the globe. It is also recognized as an official language by 67 different countries, as well as 27 non-sovereign entities. It eases communication for us social beings today in a world that is more diverse than ever.

But how did English end up so widely spoken? Well, it all goes back to the British Empire, which at its peak controls over a quarter of the world’s surface. Amid colonial times, British rulers would oblige their colonies to talk in English instead of their local languages. In spite of the fact that the roots of English as a global language has a complicated past, the language has since been playing an important role in the present day.

Nowadays, it is very common to find people moving out to other countries to find and pursue a more promising career. It also helps people appreciate other cultures, overcome the challenges of living in another country, and gain a better view of the world. These are the traits that businesses will seek when hiring, and such characteristics will only be more vital in the upcoming years. Therefore, we need to learn English as it is the most used language for business in the world, proving itself as a global language.

Furthermore, English gives us an open door to the world of entertainment. English is by far the most common language used on the internet, representing over 26% of the world’s internet users which means just by knowing English, you’ll have access to over a quarter of the internet. You will have millions of choices regarding what article to read, what website to visit, and what blog to view. Not to mention that English is the most common language featured in movies, accounting for 20% of all the world’s movies. You can grab yourself a snack and binge-watch amazing movies without subtitles! But what if you are into reading books? About 200,000 books are published in English, which is around 22% of all the books in the world. You will never have to worry about not finding that one book that you like!

Learning English can also increase your educational opportunities. When you learn English, you can attend international institutions and join 4.3 million students who go abroad to pursue higher education. Young students studying abroad is not a rare sight to see these days as it is widely believed that they can have access to a better form of education. Educational institutions in English-speaking countries as well as in non-English-speaking countries use English as the primary language of communication. Whether it be institutions in the Netherlands, Germany, or Belgium, the English language is used for everything from speaking to writing. If you are planning to study abroad, especially in English-speaking countries, you will have to take English proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS, which you do not need to worry about because English is one of the easiest languages to learn in the whole world.

English uses the Latin alphabet, the most widely used writing system in the world with nearly 70% of the world’s population using it. Thus making it easier for new learners to grasp and excel in the said language. Also, the average English word length is 8,23 letters, compared to 8,80 for Spanish, 10,09 for French, and 11,66 for German, making it less demanding compared to the three said languages. Moreover, contrary to some languages, English has no gender and perhaps has a simple grammar system. It also has a wide variation of resources to learn from, including TV shows, books, podcasts, radio, newspapers, and websites. A little fact about the English language is that about 80% of the world’s radio and television broadcasts are in English. What seems normal for English speakers is a luxury for speakers of languages that are lesser-known and endangered such as Gaelic and Ainu since it is such a hassle to look for resources to learn from. There are also fewer speakers that you can listen and practice to and less literature that are published in the said language.

Now we that know how essential the English language is, you might want to start your journey. Even though it will not be easy to keep yourself fascinated with a new language, focus on the benefits that the English language has to offer and the outcomes of the whole learning experience. Learning English might require an extraordinary amount of patience and effort, but in the end, it will be worth the endeavour. You can personalize your learning process in any way you like to suit your own pace, needs, goals, and level, making the experience more engaging, fun, and interesting. Boost your will to learn by finding someone or something that inspires you. You can also ask yourself what excites you about the English language? What makes you want to learn English? Maybe you have a specific goal to achieve? or is it the entire journey and process that keeps you going? or perhaps being able to understand a new culture? Whatever it is, always remember that it is up to you to make the learning process exciting! I hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for your time and have a great day!

Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021:


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