The fastest-spreading language in human history, English is spoken at a useful level by some 1.75 billion people worldwide—that’s one in every four of us.
In relation to a teacher’s work, it is a teacher’s job to educate their students so they may better succeed in their future endeavors, and English is critical to that. Technology is also a big part of education nowadays and since half of the internet is in English it would be beneficial to understand it. These are not the only reasons, teachers’ extracurriculars may include traveling, playing sports, and attending courses or conferences. The following article will include a brief history about how English came to the fore, why English is still so prominent now and why teachers should learn it.
Why is English so prominent today?
English is the international language of the world with around 146 countries speaking it. These 146 countries take English as a mandatory subject, while 41 others have it as a possible elective subject and only 5 countries do not teach it. One of the main reasons for the high number of people learning English is that it is the easiest language to learn in the world. Unlike other languages, it has no gender nor word agreement and arguably has rather simple grammar in comparison to other languages. There are also many resources to learn English from for example films, music, podcasts, documentaries, YouTube, and books. If it is not the first language of a country, it is normally the second language. How did English become so widely learned though?
Many will wonder how English has become the most known language in the world, used extensively to communicate between different cultures and countries as well as one of the official languages for the UN and still the EU. The first reason is British colonialism. During that period there were a lot of trade and business deals where English had to be learned by the populace to effectively communicate which is how English spread to the USA, Canada, Australia, Africa, and India.
What industries does it impact?
Another reason is technology. Unlike what many may think, the first computer was not created by Turing but by Charles Babbage in 1822, an Englishman, though it was a very simplified version of the computers we see today. The Turing version was the complete version, a computer that could solve any problem without the gears or circuits having to be replaced every time to perform a different type of calculation. These two men were English, so the technological world was already based on the English language. The reason why technology continued to be based in English was the technological giants created by the Americans such as Apple and Microsoft, which explains why half the internet is in English.
Additionally, there was the post-war period in 1945 when the USA became one of the two superpowers. While Europe was rebuilding due to participating in WW2 longer, the US was going through an economic boom. It started producing big films and new music such as jazz, rock and roll, and pop which became immensely popular, leading to the rise of Hollywood. If a person wanted to be a successful actor or musician, it was necessary to learn English, and this is still the case today. Not only the entertainment stage was affected but sport as well.
Many sports were created by English speaking countries such as basketball, baseball, rugby, skateboarding, volleyball, snowboarding, football, cricket, hockey, rounders, badminton, and golf to name a few, some of which are major world sports that have world cups, and millions go to see games worldwide. Since it was more than likely these sports were explained in English to other countries it makes sense now why athletes, to better communicate within their chosen sport must learn English.
Science is just one more sector in which specific terminology is in English. Which makes learning English necessary if students want to study medicine or any science, especially since some of the best educations in science come from English-speaking countries.
Why should teachers learn English?
One of a teacher’s prime reasons to learn English should be to give their students a better chance at success in their future careers. People will ask themselves why some young people are fit to be employed while others are not? The reason is that some do not speak English. English has become nearly a requirement to be in any multinational company, as it is a means of international communication. An example of this is Rakuten. A cross between Amazon and eBay, Rakuten was acquiring many companies from different countries like the UK, US, and France to name a few. The CEO, Mikitani, decided to convert the firm’s main language into English which bore fruit since it is now a remarkably diverse and powerful organization.
Would it help with teachers’ careers?
Learning English helps not only with a student’s career, but a teacher’s as well. There is an increasing demand in foreign countries for teachers that can speak English since it has become such an important language to learn. An English teacher could easily obtain a position since it is such a big revolving market, with 50% of teachers leaving their positions after one year to return to their home countries, leaving schools scrambling for more teachers.
Concerning the professional development of educators focused on the English language, a certificate that every teacher should have in their resumé is the Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults or CELTA. This course is highly valued worldwide and it is considered the top course on language teaching and English language teaching methodology.
Surely, a CELTA certificate is the best option to enhance your resumé as an educator and it will increase exponentially your chances of being employed as an English language teacher in any country in the world.
English is very useful for teachers in many ways. In terms of their own job market, their students’ and for recreational purposes. Having English in their arsenal of knowledge puts them at a distinct advantage over other teachers who are not able to speak English.
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