The Boom of English Language Education
2019-04-15 Linda Dunsmore Alumni Experiences
Multiple researchers have shown that learning a new language is a healthy exercise for one’s brain. In today’s world where connection to each other has been made easy by technology, it has also become very important to be multilingual.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Sipho D.
English has become a must
English is still the widely spoken language in the world but the is a growing trend of Mandarin Chinese learners , Spanish learners and a number of students too tackling languages like French and German. This has been largely due to open trade, huge corporations having multiple trading offices all over the world. Gone are the days when interpreters would be needed for translation duties when a company ventures into a different country. Native speakers of the different company centers now often need to learn the language of the company’s headquarters. This is a good thing for linguistic learning as it encourages more and more people to learn different languages and as such preserves and expands those languages.
Free language learning platforms
The availability of free language learning forums or platforms like YouTube, free online books/PDFs and tutors (even though mostly paid) has opened up the avenues of learning languages. Students of any language now have plenty of resources to practice listening and reading their language of choice. Movies, videos, social media and books are all filled with useful content, most of which can be easily understood without the need of consultations with a teacher or a tutor. There is still the option of visiting a nearby library too, but the availability of internet and smartphones/ laptop/tablets has slowly eliminated the need for such extensive trips to the library. Plenty of applications now offer the opportunity to read any book of one's liking, whether it’s an instructional book or for pleasure.
The ESL market has emerged
Linguistic learning has also opened up a revenue source for native speakers of any language of interest as they can get hired as teachers or tutors of students who are interested in learning a certain language. Teaching nowadays has evolved into classroom teaching and online teaching.
Classroom teaching still mostly needs a safe environment, solid infrastructure or facilities where students and their teachers will be comfortable to complete their lessons. In developed countries where English, for example , is a foreign language, schools have established after school programs, taking advantage of existing infrastructure and resources to further help students improve their English learning experience in familiar territory. Yes, language exchange programs still exist but with the prevalence of technology, they will soon be a thing of the past as people can now be connected in a matter of seconds, regardless of the physical location.
Physical language centers appear everywhere
Revenue streams have also opened up for real estate companies, book publishers, software and website developers. Language schools usually rent secure locations in busy city centers where they are most likely to get students and for easy accessibility. With more students signing up to learn languages, more books and printed materials like flash cards need to be printed. Digital platforms and language learning applications need skilled software/app developers to create robust and user friendly applications for different age groups. Some of these apps come in the form of games, picture memories and embedded audio files with microphone capabilities to ensure that learners get to practice all their skills, that is reading, listening, speaking and writing.
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