English as a National Foreign Language India has two national languages for central administrative purposes: Hindi and English. Hindi is the national, official, and main link language of India. English is an associate official language. The Indian Constitution also officially approves twenty-two regional languages for official purposes. Dozens of distinctly different regional languages are spoken in India, which share many characteristics such as grammatical structure and vocabulary. Apart from these languages, Hindi is used for communication in India.
The homeland of Hindi is mainly in the north of India, but it is spoken and widely understood in all urban centers of India.
In the southern states of India, where people speak many different languages that are not much related to Hindi, there is more resistance to Hindi, which has allowed English to remain a lingua franca to a greater degree. Since the early 1600s, the English language has had a toehold on the Indian subcontinent, when the East India Company established settlements in Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai, formerly Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay respectively.
The historical background of India is never far away from everyday usage of English. India has had a longer exposure to English than any other country which uses it as a second language, its distinctive words, idioms, grammar and rhetoric spreading gradually to affect all places, habits and culture. In India, English serves two purposes. First, it provides a linguistic tool for the administrative cohesiveness of the country, causing people who speak different languages to become united. Secondly, it serves as a language of wider communication, including a large variety of different people covering a vast area.
It overlaps with local languages in certain spheres of influence and in public domains. Generally, English is used among Indians as a ‘link’ language and it is the first language for many well-educated Indians. It is also the second language for many who speak more than one language in India. The English language is a tie that helps bind the many segments of our society together. Also, it is a linguistic bridge between the major countries of the world and India. English has special national status in India. It has a special place in the parliament, judiciary, broadcasting, journalism, and in the education system.
One can see a Hindi-speaking teacher giving their students instructions during an educational tour about where to meet and when their bus would leave, but all in English. It means that the language permeates daily life. It is unavoidable and is always expected, especially in the cities. The importance of the ability to speak or write English has recently increased significantly because English has become the de facto standard. Learning English language has become popular for business, commerce and cultural reasons and especially for internet communications throughout the world.
English is a language that has become a standard not because it has been approved by any ‘standards’ organization but because it is widely used by many information and technology industries and recognized as being standard. The call centre phenomenon has stimulated a huge expansion of internet-related activity, establishing the future of India as a cyber-technological super-power. Modern communications, videos, journals and newspapers on the internet use English and have made ‘knowing English’ indispensable.
The prevailing view seems to be that unless students learn English, they can only work in limited jobs. Those who do not have basic knowledge of English cannot obtain good quality jobs. They cannot communicate efficiently with others, and cannot have the benefit of India’s rich social and cultural life. Men and women who cannot comprehend and interpret instructions in English, even if educated, are unemployable. They cannot help with their children’s school homework everyday or decide their revenue options of the future.
A positive attitude to English as a national language is essential to the integration of people into Indian society. There would appear to be virtually no disagreement in the community about the importance of English language skills. Using English you will become a citizen of the world almost naturally. English plays a dominant role in the media. It has been used as a medium for inter-state communication and broadcasting both before and since India’s independence. India is, without a doubt, committed to English as a national language. The impact of English is not only continuing but increasing. english in India | |Officially English has a status of assistant language, but in fact it is the most important language of India. After Hindi it is the most | |commonly spoken language in India and probably the most read and written language in India. Indians who know English will always try to show | |that they know English. English symbolizes in Indians minds, better education, better culture and higher intellect. Indians who know English | |often mingle it with Indian languages in their conversations.
It is also usual among Indians to abruptly move to speak fluent English in the | |middle of their conversations. English also serves as the communicator among Indians who speak different language. English is very important in| |some systems – legal, financial, educational, business – in India. Until the beginning of 1990s, foreign movies in India weren’t translated or | |dubbed in Indian languages, but were broadcast in English and were meant for English speakers only. The reason Indians give such importance to | |English is related to the fact that India was a British colony (see Europeans in India). |When the British started ruling India, they searched for Indian mediators who could help them to administer India. The British turned to high | |caste Indians to work for them. Many high caste Indians, especially the Brahmans worked for them. The British policy was to create an Indian | |class who should think like the British, or as it was said then in Britain “Indians in blood and color but English in taste, in opinions and | |morals and intellect”. The British also established in India universities based on British models with emphasis on English. These Indians also | |got their education in British universities.
The English Christian missionaries came to India from 1813 and they also built schools at primary | |level for Indians in which the language of instruction was local language. Later on the missionaries built high schools with English as the | |language of instruction which obliged the Indians who wanted to study to have a good knowledge of English. The British rulers began building | |their universities in India from 1857. English became the first language in Indian education. The ‘modern’ leaders of that era in India also | |supported English language and claimed it to be the main key towards success.
Indians who knew good English were seen as the new elite of | |India. Many new schools were established in which the language of instruction was English. According to the British laws the language of | |instruction at university level was English and therefore schools that emphasized English were preferred by ambitious Indians. Even after | |India’s independence, English remained the main language of India. Officially it was given a status of an assistant language and was supposed | |to terminate officially after 15 years of India’s independence, but it still remains the important language of India. |Even today schools in India that emphasis English are considered better schools and the same is the case at university levels, even though | |there is a trend towards Indianization. In the 1970s and 1980s about one third of the Indian schools had English as their first language. For | |most of these students, English is their first language and it is easier for them to communicate, read and write in English than in Indian | |languages, including their mother tongues. | |Just like the Americans, Australians or even the British who have their unique English words and phrases, the Indians also have their own | |unique English.
The Indians and the Indian English language press uses many words derived from Indian languages, especially from Hindi. Other | |than that, the Indian accent is sometimes difficult for non-Indians to understand. There are some Indian pronunciations that don’t exist in non| |Indian languages. The British also had problems with that and they caused some changes in Indian words so that they could pronounce them. Even | |the Indians started using these changed words and made them part of their English. Two examples of such changed words are currey and sari. |[pic] | Top of Form [pic] [pic] Bottom of Form The sole reason behind English language in India been laid such accentuation lies manifested in the fact that India had once extensively served as a British colony. When the so-called British Empire began its domination upon India, they had indeed scouted for Indian intermediaries who could aid them to administer India more graciously. Reviewing the then Indian scenario, the English rulers turned towards higher caste Indians to work for them.
As such, numerous high caste Indians, principally the Brahmans began to work under British imperialism. The British policy was to fashion an Indian class who should think and act like the British, or as it was stated then in Britain, “Indians in blood and colour but English in taste, in opinions and morals and intellect”. Consequently pretty much alarmed with the status of English language in India, the British law-makers started establishing universities based on British models with sole stress on English.
As an understandable result, these `high-classed` Indians began to receive their elementary education in their country, finally leaving for Vilayat (Great Britain or England was referred to by this term during pre-independence times in India) for higher education in British universities. Commencing from the early 1600s, English language has had a firm foothold on the Indian subcontinent, when the British East India Company had established settlements in Madras, Kolkata and Bombay, which were subsequently declared as Presidency towns, merging the erstwhile princely states.
The historical background of India has in fact never been too distanced from routine usage of English. India has had a prolonged exposure to English than any other country which utilised it as a second language, its idiosyncratic words, idioms, grammar and rhetoric circularising gradually to charm every Indian state, region, its populace, their habits and inherent culture. In order to secure the spread of freshly-introduced English language in India, the English Christian missionaries began to arrive in India from 1813, a significant move by British administration linked with India and its English counterpart.
These Christian missionaries also had erected schools at primary level for Indians, in which the medium and language of instruction was local language. Later on, the missionaries went on to build high schools with English as the language of instruction which accommodated the natives who wanted to study, to possess a sound knowledge of English. British rulers began building their universities in India precisely from 1857, post the historical and fate-deciding Sepoy Mutiny and transferring of power from East India Company to direct annexation under Queen Victoria`s sovereignty.
English had thus become the first language in Indian education. The `modern` leaders (also hugely esteemed as the social and reformist men from India, aiming with the view to take India to sublime heights like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekananda) of the erstwhile era in India also backed English language and claimed it to be the basic key towards accomplishment. Indians who were enlightened in good English, were deemed as the new social class or elite of India. Umpteen new schools were established in which the medium of education was English.
According to British laws, the language of instruction at university level was mandated to be English and thus schools that accentuated upon English, were preferred by motivated and go-getting Indians. Even after Indian Independence, English language remained the principal language of communication in India. Officially it was given a status of an `assistant language` and was supposed to terminate officially after fifteen years of India`s independence. However, this very enigmatic yet lucid language still persists as the authoritative language of India.
It is universally and unanimously hypothesized that the widespread study of English language in India was imposed upon Indians by Lord Macaulay with the solitary aim of serving the end of British administration in India. Travelling a substantial journey, from being a language doused in colonialism, English has come a long way as the language that has lent India an edge over countries where English is rendered the status of a `foreign language`. India has since Independence to the contemporary times, become a `resource consortium` of English – a language whose pre-eminence remains unquestionable.
English language usage in India plays a cardinal role in the fields of education, administration, business and political relations, judiciary, industry and virtually in umpteen other domains and is therefore a ticket to social mobility, higher education and better job opportunities. In the gradual and tremendous rising context of English language in India, English literature penned by Indian authors has made its everlasting mark in world literature. So much so has been this writing impact, that Indian English Literature has presently turned into an authentic genre, which does not seem to stop in far future.
Among the Indian writers in English, R. K. Narayan chooses to write in English because he himself says, “It is the only language I am really familiar with. It is the only language which is transparent and takes on the hues of the country or region where the story set. ” R. K. Narayan makes use of popular Tamil and Sanskrit words generously in his novels; for example: bonda; sadhu; rasam; Samadhi; asura and so on. The flexibility and adaptability of English had indeed fascinated him and for this reason he had chosen it as his only medium of story-telling. Besides R.
K. Narayan, Indian writers in English language comprise a luminous list of – Amitava Ghosh, Amit Chaudhuri, Kiran Desai, Anita Desai, Arundhati Roy and various other graduating geniuses. In India, where more than eighteen different state languages coexist, English suffices as the essential connection between people speaking umpteen mother tongues. Thus, more than two hundred and fifty years later, when the very first British trader had stepped onto Indian soil, the number of Indians who aspire to learn and make use of English is still escalating steadily.
Just like the final icing on the cake, the impact of English language in India is not only continuing to enlarge, but also increasing in leaps and bounds. The number of English newspapers, journals and magazine has also been on the increase for a long time. In fact, Indian English is a distinguished dialect of English, just like British Received Pronunciation or Australian English, or Standard American. To some extent, the strict British dialectical English has today taken a backseat. Indian English possesses a motley of distinctive pronunciations, some idiosyncratic syntaxes and a significant amount of lexical variation.
Officially and according to Constitutional law makers, English language in India is lent the status of a subsidiary language after Hindi, but is, in effect, the most important language used in the country. After Hindi, it is the most extensively spoken language in India and probably the most read and written language too. Truly, in almost every sphere of life, English language has turned out to be the `identity representation` each and every next day. In this Indian English context, the missionary schools that were first started by British missionary workers, have today spread their wings to fly high towards supreme reputation.
As such, the Christian missionary schools emphasise on English to be considered as the first language, which helps a student to graduate towards better educational standards in colleges and universities. However, this very trend of English language in India is wholly dedicated towards making this `foreign` language out-and-out Indianised. For most of these students, English is mandatory as the first language and it becomes easier for them to communicate in international levels.
Just like the American or Australian population, or even the Britishers who possess their exclusive English words and phrases, Indians also have their own unique concept of English. Indians and the Indian English language that is utilised by nationalised news sections in newspapers have been deduced from Indian languages, especially from Hindi. Other than this, there sometimes arises a dilemma with the Indian accent, which is at times difficult for non-Indians to comprehend. There also exist some Indian pronunciations that do not exist in non-Indian languages.
During the British ascendancy in India, they also had encountered problems with that and they induced some changes in Indian words to make pronunciation easier. English language in India, since then, started to make its still-continuing impact upon the country`s burgeoning population, who, alternatively, started using these modified words and made them part of their vocabulary. Two illustrations of such changed words are curry and sari. Leaving aside the commercialisation and globalisation of English language as it is treated in India, the language also serves for solemn administrational purposes.
India has two national languages for federal and central purposes, comprising Hindi and English. Hindi is the national, official and basic linking language of India. English is esteemed as an associating official language. The Indian Constitution also officially approves twenty-two regional languages for official purposes. Scores of distinctly dissimilar regional languages are spoken in India, which further share umpteen characteristics such as grammatical structure and vocabulary. In India, English language fundamentally serves two functions.
Firstly, it furnishes with a linguistic tool for the administrative coherence of the country, making people who speak different languages to become unified and united. Secondly, it acts as a language of more panoptic communication, encompassing an enormous variety of people, embracing a vast area. It intersects with localised languages in particular spheres of influence and in public domains. On a more general term, English language in India is utilised amongst Indians as a `link` language and also serves as the first language for umpteen well-versed citizens.
It also serves as the second language for several who speak more than one language in India. English language is that bond that helps bind the many slices of the society together. Also, English is a linguistic bridge between the major countries of the world and India. English occupies special national status in India; it possesses a special place in the parliament, judiciary, broadcasting, journalism and in the education system. The significance of the ability to speak or write English has increased significantly of late, due to its becoming the de facto standard.
Learning English language in India has become well-accepted for business, commercial and cultural reasons and particularly for internet communications throughout the world. English is a language that is deemed a benchmark not because it has been accredited by any `standard` organisation, but because it is extensively employed by many information and technology industries and recognised as being standard. The `call-centre` phenomenon has aided in stimulating an immense expansion of internet-associated activity, grounding the future of India as a `cyber-technological super-power`.
Modern communications, videos, journals and newspapers on the internet make use of English and have made `knowing English` indispensable. Maintaining a positive attitude to English as a national language is fundamental to the consolidation of populace in Indian society. There would practically appear to be no discrepancy within the community about the authority of English language skills in India. By making thorough usage of English, one can gradually become a citizen of the world almost effortlessly. English also plays a prevalent role in the media.
It has endlessly been used as a medium for inter-state communication and broadcasting both before and since India`s Independence. India is, without any doubt, devoted to English as a national language. The impact of English is not only continuing but increasing towards a secured next day. ited my father’s family in Canada when I was ten years old. His parents and sisters had migrated to Montreal from India in the seventies. For a young excitable child of ten the sights and sounds of this new place were fascinating, but what was amusing was the way in which my family’s Canadian friends perceived India.
Other than the stereotypical notions they had about elephants, snake charmers, and maharajahs, they were surprised that I spoke fluent English. When I told them it’s the only language I speak other than a smattering of Hindi there were even louder exclamations! Today, India is well recognized globally for its vast talent pool and well-educated professionals, but still there is only a dim understanding of what this vast country encapsulates. Indian English is something that many foreigners are unaware of and even if they are aware, they are unsure about its credibility.
English in India is a legacy from the British who colonized the country and their language permeated through some of the most important parts of society: the government, the media, the education system, the legal system, and gradually the social sphere as well. India is a vast nation and in terms of number of English speakers, it ranks third in the world after USA and the UK. An estimated 4 percent of the population use English and even though this may seem like a small number that is about 40 million people.
This small segment of the population controls domains that have professional and social prestige. Though it is closer to British English since it originates from that style, with the influx of globalization American English has definitely had an impact on the youth as well as in the professional sphere. However, it can neither be classified as American or British English as it intermingled with other Indian languages and emerged with it’s own distinct flavor. This has made several scholars realize that it cannot be equated with either.
English in the Administration and Media: Though it is not classified as one of the 15 languages of India, English remains the associate official language along with Hindi, which is the official language. The reason for this is the large number of languages and dialects spoken in India and that several people are unfamiliar with Hindi. Though it lacks the symbolic power to be chosen as the sole official language, it is used widely in communication. The English press in India began serious journalism in the country and English language newspapers are published in practically all states.
Not only has it impacted print media, but broadcasting media as well. There are several English news channels as well as several outstanding media courses offered at various institutions, which focus on journalism in English. The Education System: In higher education English is the premier prestige language. Careers in any area of business or commerce, or within the government, or in science and technology require fluency in English. It is taught in schools ranging from the most elite private schools to small government schools because only this language is an acceptable medium of communication through the nation.
The Social Sphere: Other than the more formal sectors of administration, media, and education, English has seeped into the less formal social sphere. It is certainly considered instrumental in terms of having access to information from all over the world and as a key factor for professional success, but it is also very much a part of the educated middle and upper class person’s life especially of the youth in India. Now American English is becoming more popular with the educated youth due to the number of American programs aired in India.
While bureaucrats and officials continue to use archaic convoluted sentences, which are relics of British English, the younger generation is comfortable and familiar with American English. Here, I make the distinction not between an older and newer form of the language, but between a more formal and casual style. Several people speak English with their friends, and people get introduced to each other most often in English. Over half of all personal letters are also written in English.
Indian Writing in English: India is the third largest English book producing country after the US and the UK, and the largest number of books are published in English. Creative writing in English has been an integral part of the Indian literary tradition for many years. Many believe that is a challenge for Indian novelists to write about their experiences in a language, which is essentially “foreign”. However, Indian English has been used widely by several writers who have been able to successfully use the language to create rich and invigorating literature.
India is rich with tastes, sounds, and sights that are any writer’s dream and stylistic influence from local languages is a particular feature of Indian literature in English. Many perceive English as having released the local languages from rigid classical traditions that could be an obstacle while writing. It is Indian writers in English who have truly showcased India to the world not only in terms of understanding the country better, but also by establishing that the language no longer represents the western concepts of literary creativity as its ranges have expanded.
The Future of English in India The language has already been well established in the country and has acquired its own independent identity. With the number of foreign investors flocking to India and the growth of outsourcing, English has come to play a key role in professional relationships between foreign and Indian companies. Familiarity with the differences between American and British English has definitely grown as much business communication is carried out according to the language style with which a client is comfortable.
Though many may perceive the accent, terminology, and conversational style as “funny”, in reality it is just a different English that cannot simply be equated with either American or British English. Indians are familiar with both types of English, but Indian English has acquired its own character in a country which is a melting pot of various cultures, people, and tEnglish, Tamil: Ideology vs. Reality (3 of 3) Bernstein states that the way ‘a society selects, classifies, distributes, transmits and evaluates the educational knowledge it considers to be public, reflects both the distribution of power and the principles of social control. Habermas and Bernstein, among others, provide some crucial rubrics to understand the complex political processes that underpin the medium of instruction issue in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka — and similar Indian states — which carry strong political and ideological overtones. Habermas regards ideology as ‘systematically distorted communication’ and the ‘suppression of generalizable interests,’ where structural features in communities (including language communities) and societies operate to the advantage of the dominant and the disadvantage of subordinate groups.
Ideology here is taken to be the values of dominant groups in society that permeate the social structure, with or without the consensus of all. Power, through ideology, is omnipresent in language. And language is a principal means for the operation of power. Going by Gramsci’s notion of hegemony – domination by consent of all parties, including the dominated – language is intimately involved in the manufacture of ideological consent and in turn where power resides. Tamil Nadu provides for a very insightful case study in this regard. The MOI issue in Tamil Nadu is bound by issues of power, domination, legitimacy and social stratification.
Historically, the Tamil region has had an uncomfortable relationship with the Indian union and it was one of the only states that problematized the notion of having a national language – to be used for all official communication and to be used as the MOI in all public schools – and was successful in undermining the idea altogether. But it also gave birth to a political discourse that was obsessed with a rigid Tamil identity. The Dravidian governments have insisted, since then, on the necessity to preserve ‘Tamil heritage’ and its purported uniqueness.
They have expressed concerns over Tamil losing its stature among its own populace. Even if one does not problematize essentialist notions such as ‘Tamil heritage’, it is untenable to assume that maintaining Tamil as the primary medium of instruction in public schools would achieve that goal. The government has not done any studies to establish if public schools have produced more ‘authentic Tamils’ than private schools. Both in terms of feasibility and ideological apprehension that Tamil will lose its foothold among its people, the governments’ concerns seem unfounded.
The Dravidian parties (DMK and ADMK) have, over the decades, used Tamil to exploit a populist sentiment that is not necessarily reflected on people’s economic aspirations and the means to achieving them. However, this populist sentiment is not peculiar to Tamil politics alone. The mainstream media, especially films, exhibit a dichotomous behavior in which people who speak ‘pure’ Tamil considered to be true to their identity while indirectly maintaining that those who speak ‘good’ English are sophisticated. (This observation is all the more relevant for a state like Tamil Nadu. ‘Symbolic violence’, Bourdieu says, is when structures of domination in a society are reproduced by imposing cultural values claimed to be universal. English, in this context, maybe argued as an elitist cultural value thrust on the poor and socially backward by creating an illusion of empowerment while simultaneously delegitimizing Tamil’s role in achieving the same. But it is in direct contradiction with macro, external realities such as the difficulties faced by Tamil medium students when they enter the university level and the labour market.
The underlying problem is not whether or not English is desired by all sections of the society but whether the State should maintain its exclusivity. Conclusion: English linguistic capital continues to be linked to cultural and economic capital and to reproduce the existing stratification of society and schooling. This practice has only become stronger over the years; the recent economic growth driven by the IT industry has re-invented the elite status that English language has long held in India.
Students’ performance in private, English medium schools has also legitimized the power exerted by English, further increasing its desirability. Therefore, it is unrealistic to hope that students from Tamil medium schools will be able to compete on a level playing field in the future. The MOI issue in Tamil Nadu, as interpreted through the linguistic capital perspective, maybe interpreted with Giddens’ structuration theory: where agency (parental aspiration) combines with structure (parents’ cultural background and the school system) to produce and reify social structures and behavior.
The successive governments lead by the Dravidian parties, by the way of restricting the MOI to Tamil in most of the public schools, has repressed the agency of those who need it the most – the poor and the backward classes. The political elites of Tamil Nadu – primarily from the Dravidian parties – have created a landscape that has normalized several false dichotomies. The purported significance of a Tamil identity, it can be argued, is no more than a hegemonic thrust of a moralistic ideology that marginalized the fundamental aspirations of a people who were already politically and economically disenfranchised, especially the SC/ST.
The DMK’s vision of empowering the masses by reclaiming the Tamil identity has been farcical at best. It laid a heuristic obstacle by creating dead ends to students who were indirectly forced to go through Tamil-medium schools. Tamil’s virtual absence in universities and colleges stand testament to this claim. The language policy is underpinned by the oversimplification of Tamil ethnic identity to medium of instruction in schools. A point that needs to be contrasted with the fact the much of the modern exposure of Tamil, as a language and a cultural entity, has been fuelled by social and technological development rooted in English.
A State that envisions an egalitarian society – that makes policy reforms to accommodate lower castes by quotas and other such reservation systems – should also take into account the interests of the wider public in other critical issues. Regardless of what percentage of people choose English-medium schools – if given the choice – the state government’s role in forcing them one way or the other is questionable. In a state with such visible stratification based on caste structures, the State needs to democratize the educational system in a way that reflects the current priorities of the people Difficulties with English language
People may find English a challenge because
• it is not their first language
• they have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia
• their previous education developed only basic English skills
• they are more used to speaking than writing in English
• they learned a style of English writing that does not fit the UK’s usual academic style
• they have a combination of these difficulties. Types of language problem Language problems often fall into two main categories. Difficulties in understanding can cause particular problems when
• reading the style of language used in a course listening to others, either in group sessions or telephone tutorials
• trying to respond to spoken or written questions
• encountering colloquialisms, idioms and cultural references (for example from current television programmes) that are used in online forums or other discussions
• making use of examples used in explanations. Difficulties in writing for others to read may relate particularly to
• punctuation or the use of paragraphs
• making mistakes with verb tenses, or with subject and verb agreement
• using the wrong word or putting words in the wrong order
• errors in spelling inability to write at length in order to construct essays or reports
• using a style which does not suit UK academic work. Level 1 OU study provides opportunities for students to use the English language to
• show that you know and understand principles, concepts and terms central to your subject
• use your knowledge and understanding to describe, analyse and interpret defined aspects of your subject
• know about and begin to address issues and problems central to your subject
• develop your skills in communicating information accurately and ppropriately to your subject, purpose and audience
• develop your skills in finding, selecting and using information or data in defined c Learning to speak English well may be the best thing you can do to improve your life. You can get all this if you speak English well. Get access to knowledge What are you interested in? Is it science? Music? Computers? Health? Business? Sports? Today’s media — such as the Internet, television, and the press — give you almost unlimited access to knowledge about your favorite subjects. After all, we live in the information age, don’t we? There’s only one problem.
Most of this knowledge is in English. Here are some examples of knowledge you can use if you know English:
• Most pages on the Web. That’s over a billion (1,000,000,000) pages of information! It’s amazing that learning just one language gives you access to almost all knowledge on the Internet.
• Books — on any subject, from all over the world. Read books by British or American authors, and books translated from other languages. Whatever you’re interested in, you can read about it in English!
• The press. Only English-language magazines and newspapers can be bought in every part of the world.
You don’t have to search for Time, Newsweek, or the International Herald Tribune!
• Science. English is the key to the world of science. In 1997, 95% of the articles in the Science Citation Index were written in English. Only about 50% of them were from English-speaking countries like the USA or Britain. (source)
• News reports. Watch international television networks, such as CNN International and NBC. They broadcast news much faster, and more professionally, than smaller, national networks. And you can watch them everywhere in the world. Communicate with people
We like to call English “the language of communication”. Why? Because it seems all the people in the world have agreed to use English to talk to each other.
• About 1,500,000,000 people in the world speak English. Another 1,000,000,000 are learning it. (source)
• 75% of the world’s letters and postcards are written in English. (source)
• Almost all international conferences and competitions are conducted in English. For example, the Olympics and the Miss World contest.
• Diplomats and politicians from different countries use English to communicate with each other.
English is the main language of organizations like the United Nations, NATO, and the European Free Trade Association. If you can communicate in English, you can:
• Contact people from all over the world. Talk about your ideas and opinions on Internet discussion groups. Send e-mail to interesting people. Learn about their life and culture.
• Travel more easily. Communicate with people wherever you go — English is spoken in more than 100 countries (source). Ask directions, have a conversation, or… ask for help. Who knows, maybe English will save your life someday!
Push your career forward If you want a good job in business, technology, or science, get out of that armchair and start learning English now! (If you already have a good job, start learning before you lose it! ) Knowing English will let you:
• Put “excellent knowledge of English” on your CV. Get your dream job, and earn more money.
• Gain technical knowledge. English is the language of technology, especially high technology like computer science, genetics, and medicine. If you’re going to read about technology, you’ll probably have to do it in English.
• Learn computer science.
Read technical articles without difficulty. Or write your own articles!
• Be a world-class businessman (or -woman). It’s simple. International business is done in English. And all business today is international. So if you want to play, you have to know English — to contact other businesspeople, go to conferences, read international business newspapers and magazines, etc.
• Become a better scientist. Contact scientists from other countries, go to international conferences, visit academic centers abroad. Learn about new scientific discoveries by reading papers, books, and magazines. Use your computer more effectively. Most computer applications are in English, so you will understand them better — and become a better employee.
• Learn new skills for your job. The section “Get access to knowledge” explains how English helps you learn. Enjoy art like never before English lets you feel the culture of the world like no other language. With a good knowledge of the English language, you can do wonderful things:
• Watch American and British films in the original. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to dubbed versions! Read great books. Every famous book was written in English or it was translated into English. There is an amazing number of titles — from classic plays like Hamlet to modern thrillers like Jurassic Park.
• Enjoy English-language music more. Believe us: music is much better if you can understand the words. English is easy to learn English is not only the most useful language in the world. It is also one of the easiest languages to learn and to use:
• Simple alphabet — no special symbols such as e or a. Type in sweet, part, film on your computer.
Now try su? (German), [pic](Polish), [pic](Russian). Which is easier?
• Easy plurals — simply add s to a word. One car, five cars; one telephone, two telephones… There are very few exceptions.
• Words are easy to learn. In French, it’s la fille and le chien. In German, it’s das Madchen and der Hund. In English, they’re just a girl and a dog. And that’s all you need to know.
• Short words. Most of the basic words are short: run, work, big, go, man. Long words are often shortened: sitcom = situational comedy, fridge = refrigerator, OS = operating system.
Speaking English saves you time. :-)
• Words don’t change. But in many languages, one word has many forms: English: The man is blind. German: Der Mann ist blind. English: This is a blind man. German: Das ist ein blinder Mann. English: I see a blind man. German: Ich sehe einen blinden Mann.
• Call everybody “you”. You can say “Do you speak English? ” to your friend or to your teacher. In other languages, you have to use the right word for the right person. In English, everybody is equal. :-)
• English is everywhere.
You can easily access English-language television, music, websites, magazines, etc. You don’t have to learn from boring textbooks. You can learn and use your English at the same time. Using your English is especially important because it increases your desire to learn. Get satisfaction English is not only useful — it gives you a lot of satisfaction:
• Making progress feels great. We’ll never forget the moment we discovered we could speak with Americans or watch TV in English.
• You will enjoy learning English, if you remember that every hour you spend gets you closer to perfection. Using English is fun, too, because every sentence you speak or write reminds you of your success. English makes you a more powerful, happier person. It is not difficult to imagine some situations where knowing English gives you a great feeling.
• • develop your understanding and use of the resources available to help you learn, and begin to develop as an independent learner
• develop, as appropriate, practical and professional skills and awareness of relevant ethical issues
• plan your study pathway to link your learning with your personal and/or your career goals.