The world today is a global village with a good number of emerging economies from various continents. The English language has vastly grown to a level where most multinationals, organizations or individuals cannot do without it. There is a geometrical progression of the number of people willing to learn English as a second language in order to succeed.
However, English is perhaps the most flexible language in the world, claiming more words, language rules and vocabularies than any other language. No doubt, it doesn’t mind borrowing numerous words from other languages, and the trend keeps going geometrically. Here are three cardinal points to critically elucidate this idea and trend.
English as a language of communication: The English language has become the dominant language in many ramifications of life such as communication, research, science and technology, education, as well as entertainment industries travel and tourism inclusive. Majority of speakers of other languages choose English as their second language or language of communication due to significant number of English speakers all over the world.
According to research, over 60% of English speakers today speak a different language as their mother tongue. From statistics, the number of English speakers substantially outnumbered speakers of other languages.
In countries of multiple ethnicities such as that from African continent, ethnic languages could pose a significant barrier for other citizens of different ethnic groups. For example, regardless of native English speakers, in African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia etc. English is considered and adopted as official language and that of communication including government, business and studies.
In India, English is the most widely spoken language after Hindi which is also a language of research and studies in most schools.
In most part of Europe, English is widely taught virtually in all schools as a second language. I remembered asking two young ladies from Netherlands and Denmark I met in Cancun about their fluency in English language. They said that English language is widely taught in almost every school as a second language in their countries. Cancun is a tourist destination which attracts different people from different background of different languages from different countries. Speaking English has made it so flexible for tourists to communicate with each other and network with people from different background and locality.
In this regard, there is an increasing probability that English will continue to evolve all over the world in a way it would become implicit for the native speakers.
English as a business language: With the current advancement in research, science and technology as well as technology transfer, many companies would not want to restrict their knowledge and investment to speakers of their native language alone. Most businesses, multinational companies’ etc. of other languages has adopted English language in order to feel sufficient and be part of the players of other emerging economies.
In countries such as China, South Korea, Japan etc. where there is a great economic boom, most companies and businesses has adopted English as part of their business language in order to feel adequate and do business with other countries of the world.
No doubt, business understands one particular language the most which is “Maximize Profit”. Multinational companies, large businesses of various categories are ready to exchange hand shake with customers regardless of their native language. By so doing, English is vital and most flexible besides most companies and business owners are already sufficient in the language.
English as a political language: Politics is another circle where English language is vital. Globally, English speaking countries plays a major role in the world’s economy and its technological advancement today. In order for other countries to communicate effective with global super powers and other countries either for bilateral business relationship or technology transfer, learning English language is inevitably essential. Most world organizations today such as United Nations, World Health Organization, and UNICEF etc. have adopted English as their language of proceedings.
In conclusion, since the emergence of United States as the world power after World War II, English language learning and speaking has continue to evolve rapidly all over the world. However, more and more individuals have continued to generate interest in learning English as a second language. TEFL/TESOL/ESL industry has continued to grow rapidly with huge demand for English teachers especially in countries of other native languages such as China, South Korea, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Europe, Kuwait etc. just to mention few serious players.