English is undeniably a global language. It is the third most widely spoken first language in the world (after Chinese and Spanish), and learnt at school, from TV, or the internet by millions more making it the most widespread language in the world.
Its most common form, American English, is understood almost everywhere, however there are hundreds more varieties from the widely spoken British English, to the less well-known Singlish, a relatively recent development blending native English words with dialects from Singapore.
What all of these varieties have in common is a central core of mutually understandable words, which means that as a language of business, research and education, English takes first place in all of the world’s languages. Most children now study English at school, with many schools teaching some subjects only in English. It is considered important not only to equip students for work, but also to give them access to education and of course, the increasingly English entertainment industry.
Schools all over the world routinely use English as a medium of study, which means that many children learn English from a very young age. These schools give their students the advantage of bilingualism which allows them greater access to information once they reach higher education.
From Hollywood films to Chinese pop songs, English plays a central role in today’s leisure and holiday time. Video games are frequently English-only, and so kids want to learn the language if only to understand their favourite game!
Whilst there are subtle differences in the grammar and vocabulary of the English spoken in different parts of the world, they are all, most definitely, English. Americans my prefer the past simple to the present perfect and the Australians may call sausages ‘snags’, but they can all understand each other.
As a global method of communication, English really is second to none. Learning English is essential for anyone who wants to expand their horizons, further their education, book a summer holiday, do more business, or simply watch films!