Why speak English well?
by Paul Evans
Founder, articulate.xyz Ltd
It’s estimated that over ¼ of the worlds’ population (over 2 billion people) speak or are learning English. That’s a lot of people. At the same time it’s estimated that there are around 378 million native speakers, again, a lot of people! What’s interesting is what the difference between those two numbers implies. It tells us that the chances are the person next to you in that meeting, coffee shop, theatre, sport centre, park or historical site, isn’t a native English speaker. Consequently, to interact with that person you are going to require a common language.
Speaking English well not only helps bridge that gap, but opens up a world of opportunities.
A growing number of multinational companies are using as English their main language. Some just at executive levels and others are mandating English usage throughout the whole company.
English has become the global language of business, the common operating system or OS if you will. Learning English as a Second language not only allows you to communicate with native speakers but perhaps more importantly the much larger pool of non-native speakers.
Businesses seeking efficiencies across geographically diverse talent pools see how standardising on a single language can assist them in improving communications which in turn can help drive the company effectiveness. Being clear and articulate may just be the key to opening that next door.
Enjoying a vacation or working abroad, English can provide a helping hand. When it comes to paying for a hotel room, ordering a meal, or asking for directions (all the old classic school lessons) life is a lot easier if you have a fall-back common language to rely on; And the more fluent you are the more easily you’ll be understood.
Research from Wharton and LECG Europe found a link between those who studied a second language and earnings. Those who learnt a second language earned approximately 2% more in annual income than those who did not. Perhaps that doesn’t sound like a lot at first, but consider the difference over an entire career.
Learning a new language helps your brain grow in new ways and keep it healthy in old age. Speaking aloud helps us improve memorisation. The language of the internet is English. More books, scientific papers, films and TV programs are published in English. Accesses these resources can help expand our horizons and experiences.