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The Many Roles of English in Global Society

The Many Roles of English in Global Society | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Language is the primary medium of human social interaction, and interaction is the mean through which social relations are conducted and maintained. It is a vital commodity in a globalized world (Block and Cameron, 2002). Everyone needs and uses language as a means of communication and to express their needs in various aspects of life. So, as the community of the world, people need language to be used as a means of communication. Why do we need an international or global language? Why has it become a global language?

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Najaf Z. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

English development

A global language is a language spoken internationally learned by many people as a second language. Over the years English has reached a status of the global language. A language achieves its global status when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country. It has to be taken up by other countries around the world. There are English speakers in most parts of the world. More than 350 million people around the world speak English as the first language and more than 430 million people speak English as a second language.

Every person in this world needs a language that can be used globally or internationally as a medium of communication to enable them to communicate and understand each other easily. As a global community, people around the world will always keep in contact in international forums for political, economic, educational and many other international affairs, even in private business.

Also Read: 7 Activities for Teaching the Past Progressive for the ESL Classroom

Business world

English is also often called the international language of business. It is true as international trade bringing new countries into contact every year increasingly. In today’s age, no one can deny the importance of English in the business world. It not only allows you to travel but also helps to adequately express and represent yourself internationally. As you have to interact with the business community around the world, it allows you to express yourself in a language that everyone understands globally. It will be difficult if you don’t know the language they speak very well.

Correct pronunciation makes a good first impression. English also gives you an edge in getting a job internationally. Most of the best educational and professional programs are taught in English so speaking it well can put you in a position to get the best training and credentials. Most multinational companies require a certain degree of English proficiency from potential employees, so to get a position with a top company, you have to show that you are extremely fluent and competent in both speaking and writing the global language. It is important for delivering presentations and speeches. Because of this fact, more and more people are learning English.

According to a report by Education First, English is the language of the internet. An estimated 565 million people use the internet every day, and an estimated 52 percent of the world’s most visited websites are displayed in the English language. You can’t deny the fact that how English has its important part in the entertainment world. Speaking English gives you access to a world of entertainment. Many of the world’s top films, books and music are published and produced in English. Therefore, by learning English you will have access to the entertainment treasure and will be able to have a greater cultural understanding.

globe in hands

Also Read: Can non native English speakers take a TEFL course?

Culture

If you speak English, you won't need to rely on translations and subtitles anymore to enjoy your favorite books, songs, films, and TV shows. Watching movies and television programs in the English language is also a great and fun way to learn it.

Education

English has great importance for academic purposes and opens doors in the academic world. Students across the globe prefer to study at one of the best colleges or universities in countries like Australia, the UK, the US, etc. They are much aware of the fact that to be able to study in one of the English-speaking countries they must have a strong grasp of the English language. To study at world-class universities in such countries they will have to go through a test. For instance, they will be taking one of these following tests - TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, etc. Certainly, all these exams are not going to be easy for the candidates. Getting through one of these tests, students will have the opportunity to get admission in one of the best colleges or universities. Without this, it may not be possible to turn their dream into reality. You can’t neglect the significance of English in the world of technology.

global networking map

Also Read: Can I learn a foreign language while teaching English abroad?

Technology

Most of the technical terminology is based on English words, and if you want to learn about the latest developments and discoveries from around the world, you’ll read about them in journals and research reports published in English. Because of the rapid development of the Internet, representatives of different nations began to closely interact on the Web. They use English as their language of communication to understand each other. Most often, a global language specialist is needed in the field of education, science, and technology. Students who want to connect their lives with information technology must have the highest level of English proficiency.

Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course!

Finally, for teaching English as an international or global language to non-native students, there are many theories, methodologies, and techniques that can be applied. However, as teachers, there is no one best method for all contexts. So, it needs a sense of teacher’s plausibility to select the appropriate methods, techniques, and materials that reflect local culture and meets student’s needs to develop language proficiency.

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