How Important Is English in Business
May 2012 ARTICLE PREVIEW To read the full article: Sign in or Register for free. HBR Subscribers activate your free archive access » http://hbr. org/2012/05/global-business-speaks-english/ar/1 Global Business Speaks English by Tsedal Neeley Ready or not, English is now the global language of business.
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More and more multinational companies are mandating English as the common corporate language—Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor, and Microsoft in Beijing, to name a few—in an attempt to facilitate communication and performance across geographically diverse functions and business endeavors.
Adopting a common mode of speech isn’t just a good idea; it’s a must, even for an American company with operations overseas, for instance, or a French company focused on domestic customers. Imagine that a group of salespeople from a company’s Paris headquarters get together for a meeting. Why would you care whether they all could speak English? Now consider that the same group goes on a sales call to a company also based in Paris, not realizing that the potential customer would be bringing in employees from other locations who didn’t speak French.
This happened at one company I worked with. Sitting together in Paris, employees of those two French companies couldn’t close a deal because the people in the room couldn’t communicate. It was a shocking wake-up call, and the company soon adopted an English corporate language strategy. Similar concerns drove Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten—Japan’s largest online marketplace—to mandate in March 2010 that English would be the company’s official language of business.
The company’s goal was to become the number one internet services company in the world, and Mikitani believed that the new policy—which would affect some 7,100 Japanese employees—was vital to achieving that end, especially as expansion plans were concentrated outside Japan. He also felt responsible for contributing to an expanded worldview for his country, a conservative island nation. The multibillion-dollar company—a cross between Amazon. com and eBay—was on a growth spree: It had acquired PriceMinister. com in France, Buy. com and FreeCause in the U.
S. , Play. com in the UK, Tradoria in Germany, Kobo eBooks in Canada, and established joint ventures with major companies in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Brazil. Serious about the language change, Mikitani announced the plan to employees not in Japanese but in English. Overnight, the Japanese language cafeteria menus were replaced, as were elevator directories. And he stated that employees would have to demonstrate competence on an international English scoring system within two years—or risk demotion or even dismissal.
The media instantly picked up the story, and corporate Japan reacted with fascination and disdain. Honda’s CEO, Takanobu Ito, publicly asserted, “It’s stupid for a Japanese company to only use English in Japan when the workforce is mainly Japanese. ” But Mikitani was confident that it was the right move, and the policy is bearing fruit. The English mandate has allowed Mikitani to create a remarkably diverse and powerful organization. Today, three out of six senior executives in his engineering organization aren’t Japanese; they don’t even speak Japanese.
The company continues to aggressively seek the best talent from around the globe. Half of Rakuten’s Japanese employees now can adequately engage in internal communication in English, and 25% communicate in English with partners and coworkers in foreign subsidiaries on a regular basis. Adopting a global language policy is not easy, and companies invariably stumble along the way. It’s radical, and it’s almost certain to meet with staunch resistance from employees. Many may feel at a disadvantage if their English isn’t as good as others’, team dynamics and performance can suffer, and national pride can get in the way.
But to survive and thrive in a global economy, companies must overcome language barriers—and English will almost always be the common ground, at least for now. 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. There are close to 385 million native speakers in countries like the U. S. and Australia, about a billion fluent speakers in formerly colonized nations such as India and Nigeria, and millions of people around the world who’ve studied it as a second language.
An e stimated 565 million people use it on the internet. The benefits of “Englishnization,” as Mikitani calls it, are significant; however, relatively few companies have systematically implemented an English-language policy with sustained results. Through my research and work over the past decade with companies, I’ve developed an adoption framework to guide companies in their language efforts. There’s still a lot to learn, but success stories do exist. Adopters will find significant advantages. The Straight Dope http://www. straightdope. om/columns/read/757/whats-the-international-language-of-business-french-or-english A STRAIGHT DOPE CLASSIC FROM CECIL’S STOREHOUSE OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE What’s the international language of business, French or English? August 4, 1989 Dear Cecil: Our high school French teacher always insisted learning French was important because it was going to become the international language of business. Now I hear English is mandatory in international aviation, and the Chinese students in Beijing spoke English to the international media. Was our French teacher shucking us? Merde! — Les Petites, South Boston
Cecil replies: Now, now. He/she probably just didn’t know any better. French teachers lead such empty lives as it is that no one has the heart to tell them the awful truth, which is that French is a language on the way down, not up. Once the language of diplomacy, French was used in the royal courts of Germany, Russia, and Italy during the 19th century. Fifty years ago Somerset Maugham called it “the common language of educated men” (women too, one presumes). But it’s been in a state of decline since World War II, having long ago been supplanted by — you guessed it — English.
English is the primary language of more than 400 million people and is the second language of hundreds of millions more. It’s essential in science, technology, economics, and finance. It’s the official language of airport control towers, might as well be the official language of computer software, and of course is vital to a perfect comprehension of MTV, Madonna, and other pillars of modern culture. French is the primary language of maybe 114 million, including such outposts of world commerce as Haiti, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso, and is essential chiefly to reading menus at Le Cirque.
The French have been desperately attempting to reverse this trend. In addition to hosting international conferences of “Francophone” (French-speaking) nations, France as of 1986 was spending $750 million per year to support 20,000 French teachers in 155 countries. It also employs language police to guard against un-Gallic intrusions such as le compact-disc. But all in vain. Not that French doesn’t have its uses. Au contraire. It remains the language of international pretension par excellence, having a certain je ne sais quoithat appeals irresistibly to the nouveaux riches.
Also, let’s face it, je t’aimesounds infinitely classier than “luv ya, babe. ” But French is more likely to come in handy in the intimate hours after the business meeting than during. — Cecil Adams Is English the Language of Business? http://www. businesstrainingcollege. com/business/is-english-the-language-of-business. htm Current figures show that there are 350 million native speakers of English, spreading into at least 100 territories. English has become the main language in the UK, Australia, the USA and South Africa.
And, even in those countries where English is not the official language, it has become the adopted first language of governments, education and international communications. On top of the 350 million native speakers of English, there are roughly the same amount who use English as a second language and even some who use it as a third language. As English has grown and spread around the globe it has been adopted as the languageused when two parties from differing countries, who do not speak each others language, want to conduct business.
And, with access to computers and the Internet growing daily, the number of English speakers an individual can potentially reach is phenomenal. It’s clear, from the facts laid out above, that English is not only important for businessand your career – it is essential. And, this is especially true for those wanting to participate in international business. Business Training can help you improve your English. Request a prospectus for ourBusiness English with Spoken English course. Tea Leaf: English is increasingly the international language of business By Jeff Thredgold, For the Deseret News http://www. deseretnews. om/article/700091766/English-is-increasingly-the-inter national-language-of-business. html? pg=all Published: Wednesday, Dec. 15 2010 10:12 p. m. MST SALT LAKE CITY — It’s the year 2012. Your employer, a major global firm, announces that within two years all meetings and written communication within the company will be based on or conducted in Mandarin, the primary language of China. SALT LAKE CITY — It’s the year 2012. Your employer, a major global firm, announces that within two years all meetings and written communication within the company will be based on or conducted in Mandarin, the primary language of China.
Imagine our shock — our anger — our displeasure — at the need to suddenly learn an extremely difficult language, all in the name of keeping our job. Welcome to the global community in 2011! English has increasingly become the international language of business. More and more nations are demanding that their business executives become fluent in English. English learning courses are popular around the globe. While perhaps one quarter of the world’s population can now converse to an extent in English, that share could rise to one-half by 2015, according tobusinessreviewusa. com. Japanese English
A number of major Japanese companies have already mandated that English is, or soon will be, the primary language of internal communications. Rakuten Inc. , Japan’s largest online retailer, has mandated that English will be the “standard language” by March 2012. Major employers such as Nissan Motor, Sony, Fast Retailing, Sumida and Nippon Sheet Glass have made similar mandates, or have already implemented such a reality, according to The Wall Street Journal. By 2012, Rakuten employees will be required to speak and correspond with each other in English. The risk of dismissal from the company if English is not mastered is clear.
While we might think of Japan, now the world’s third-largest economy behind China, as a manufacturing haven, roughly 70 percent of that nation’s GDP is now in services. If you are aiming at be a player in the global marketplace, you must communicate in English. Ironically, it is fiercely independent Japan where English skills lag other nations. Among the 34 nations designated as “advanced economies” by the International Monetary Fund, Japan had the lowest scores during 2009 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, a proficiency test given to foreign students who want to study within the U.
S. , according to The Wall Street Journal. European English Meetings within the European Union are routinely held in English; written documents the same. It is simply a reality that a much larger share of senior politicians within the European Community speak English as a second language rather than French, German, Italian, etc. It has long held true that the aspiration of thousands of gifted students around the world is to study and graduate from a major American university. The combination of gaining a degree in business, or finance, or engineering, or chemistry, etc. from what most still consider the world’s best, most up-to-date universities, combined with perfecting verbal and written skills in English, is a ticket to prosperity for those students who return home. Student English As one might expect, many nations around the globe have required their youth to routinely study English in the primary grades for years. What might have once been seen as a way to expand the horizon of younger people, such English language skills now provide people across Asia, across Europe, across South America, across Africa, across the Middle East, etc. with a vital tool to succeed in life in coming years. Unfortunately, the rise of English places less need for Americans to study other languages than ever before. More schools do offer Chinese languages than before, but other language courses have been trimmed in many schools because of budget pressures. What do you call a person who speaks three languages? Multilingual. What do you call a person who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call a person who speaks one language? An American. Sad, but true. Trade
The U. S. trade deficit with the rest of the global community shrank in October to its lowest level in nine months, one more sign that the American economy is slowly picking up speed. The net difference between American exports and imports declined to $38. 7 billion in October, better than consensus expectations. The trade deficit was $44. 6 billion in September. U. S. exports to the world jumped 3. 2 percent to $158. 7 billion in October, the highest level since August 2008. Imports dipped 0. 5 percent to $197. billion. Perhaps contrary to common belief, the trade imbalance does not just measure the difference between “merchandise” or “goods” exported out of and imported into the U. S. It also includes a smaller component of “services,” including financial services, insurance, travel, professional services, etc. The U. S. typically runs a trade deficit in goods or merchandise and a surplus in services. A lofty goal The Obama administration has announced a goal to double U. S. exports to the world over the next five years.
While this is a noble and desirable objective, you can take it to the bank that every other nation on the planet has identified a similar goal. The administration and the Federal Reserve have drawn criticism around the world that both institutions are following a “cheap dollar” policy to boost U. S. exports to the world. The theory is that a weaker U. S. dollar relative to other major currencies leads to lower global prices for American-made goods and services, while also making imports into the U. S. more expensive. As usual, the administration and the Federal Reserve each indicate support of a “strong dollar” policy.
Chinese pressure China remains under enormous global political pressure to allow its currency to rise in value as a means of reducing its enormous trade surplus with the world. While the Chinese have allowed modest currency appreciation in recent years, many feel that their currency, the yuan (which does not float or trade openly in global foreign exchange markets), is still 20 percent to 40 percent undervalued. China, now the world’s largest exporter, runs an enormous trade surplus with the U. S. Despite record American exports to China in October, the two nations ran a $226. billion trade surplus in favor of the Chinese during 2010’s first 10 months, up more than 20 percent versus the same period a year ago. Additional U. S. and global political pressure on the Chinese to boost their currency’s value will remain center stage for years to come. Jeff Thredgold is chief economist for Zions Bank and founder of Thredgold Economic Associates, a professional speaking and economic consulting firm. Visit www. thredgold. com English as essential language of business By Sun Joo Kim | October 28, 2012, 8:58 PM PDT http://www. smartplanet. om/blog/bulletin/english-as-essential-language-of-business/4030 China may have the world’s second largest economy, but speaking Mandarin isn’t a required business skill yet. English, according to a study by EF Education First, will remain the basic language of business. Dorie Clark for Forbes outlines the study and writes that English will maintain and grow its dominance, moving from “a marker of the elite” in years past to “a basic skill needed for the entire workforce, in the same way that literacy has been transformed in the last two centuries from an elite privilege into a basic requirement for informed citizenship. (Indeed, the British Council reports that by 2020, two billion people will be studying English. ) The findings will be reassuring to native English speakers in the United States, of whom only 10% speak a second language. However, speaking another language in addition to English (in the United States, I’d argue for Spanish) is vital to participating — and having a competitive edge — in business and finance on a global level. Read the entire study on the EF website. Mandarin Chinese Most Useful Business Language After English By John Lauerman – 2011-08-30T19:34:57Z http://www. bloomberg. om/news/2011-08-30/mandarin-chinese-most-useful-business-language-after-english-1-. html Mandarin, China’s official tongue is also the top language worldwide for business other than English, according to Bloomberg Rankings. Mandarin, spoken by 845 million people, scored highest in a ranking of languages, excluding English, based on business usefulness. The ranking scored languages according to the number of speakers, number of countries where the language is official, along with those nations’ populations, financial power, educational and literacy rates, and related measures.
French, spoken by 68 million people worldwide and the official language of 27 countries, was ranked second, followed by Arabic, which is spoken by 221 million people and is official in 23 nations. Mandarin is unlikely to supplant English soon as the primary language of business, said Leigh Hafrey, a senior lecturer in communications and ethics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. “In much the same way that the dollar remains the preferred currency, English will remain the preferred language for the foreseeable future,” Hafrey said in a telephone interview.
Mandarin speakers can gain an advantage in doing business in China, Hafrey said. “Speaking the language confers a huge advantage for anyone who wants to do business in a non-English-speaking country,” he said. “It gives you flexibility, knowledge that you need, and personal connections that can make a difference in the speed and effectiveness of your negotiations. ” Spanish, the official language of 20 countries and spoken by 329 million people, came in fourth, the rankings showed. Spanish was the top foreign language studied in U. S. ollege classrooms in 2009, according to research from the Modern Language Association in New York. Chinese tallied seventh by the number of U. S. students enrolled in classes that year, after Spanish, French, German, American Sign Language, Italian and Japanese, according to a December 2010 report by the association. Arabic was eighth. English – The International Language of Business Better English-Better Future http://www. learn-english-online. co/News/April-2012/English–The-International-Language-of-Business. aspx Sunday 1 April 2012 9:41 AM
There are estimated to be over 360 million native English speakers across the globe. Whilst this compares to a massive 850 million native Mandarin speakers, a further billion people speak English as second or foreign language. With the dominance the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century and the emergence of the USA as a global superpower over the following two decades, English cemented its position as a global language. What is more, with the financial centers of London and New York located in English speaking countries, the language has become firmly established as the language of business across the world.
There is talk of the USA declining as a global power and the rise of the China and other far eastern economies. So will English ever lose its place as the international language of business? Looking at the alternatives suggests that it probably will not. Mandarin is an extremely difficult language to grasp and English is already widely spoken as a second language in India and a lot of European countries. As a result, national and international companies in any country place particular emphasis on their employees being able to speak English.
If you want to stand out from the crowd it is important to already have a firm grasp on the language when you turn up to job applications. On the other side of the coin, if you are a native English speaker but struggle with spelling or grammar your career prospects are drastically limited. It is, therefore, essential to learn English grammar to get on in your career. There is an emerging form of English, known as International English, that is somewhat simpler and easier to understand than British or American English.
The international form of English does not use colloquialisms and places less emphasis on the correct use of tense and other grammar. The trouble is it is often interpreted as poor English and will simple not suffice in many international companies. Failing to learn English grammar correctly will ultimately cost you in a large proportion of jobs. For native speakers, it is important, however, to be able to speak clearly and correctly. One of the things that make English such a fantastic language is its huge variety of accents and dialects.
The downside to this is that non-native speakers or natives from different parts of the English speaking world can struggle to understand one another. It is imperative, therefore, to be able to soften your own accent and drop some of the dialect to ensure you are clearly understood at work. So if you want to improve your job prospects and take the next step in your career, learning to speak or improving your English language skills is a great place to start. There are a number of quality courses available online as well as in night schools and colleges across the country that cater for all levels of English speakers.
RELATED SITES: ALUMNI HOME CLUBS Learning to Speak the Language of Business Hiroshi Mikitani / Rakuten March 2012 http://www. alumni. hbs. edu/bulletin/2012/march/innovation-mikitani. html Mikitani Main article: Where Innovation Rules Case study: Englishnization at Rakuten From Pinterest to Kobo, how Japan’s Rakuten is building a global internet giant (Wired. co. uk) You might call Hiroshi Mikitani (MBA 1993) the Jeff Bezos of Japan. Both lead hugely successful Internet commerce companies with a commanding presence in their home markets. But to call Mikitani’s company, Rakuten, the Amazon. om of Japan would overlook fundamental differences for customers and merchants alike. “We created a real online marketplace where customers can interact with shop owners, and we empower our merchants to build relationships with their customers,” says Mikitani, Rakuten’s founder, chairman, and CEO. Amazon offers neither experience, he adds. Launched in 1997, Rakuten’s online shopping mall now hosts more than 37,000 merchants, and the company has expanded into other e-commerce businesses, including travel, banking, telecommunications, and credit card services.
Not satisfied with dominating Japan’s e-commerce landscape, Mikitani believes the company’s future lies in taking its online expertise global. Since 2008, Rakuten has acquired or partnered with e-commerce firms in 10 countries—including Brazil, China, and the United States—and plans to add seven more this year. Success as a global player takes more than an aggressive acquisitions plan, says Mikitani. It requires that all 7,100 of the firm’s Japanese employees communicate in English, the global language of business.
Mikitani announced the changeover, in English, in March 2010 and set a two-year deadline for everyone to demonstrate English proficiency or sacrifice chances for advancement. He dubbed the project “Englishnization,” which has attracted international media attention. The Japanese language, Mikitani reasons, poses a barrier to the firm’s global ambitions. “There was a huge language barrier between the Tokyo office and our subsidiaries outside Japan,” he observes in a 2011 HBS case study on Rakuten. One day the idea just struck me: ‘Why don’t we try communicating just in English? ’ It’s an entrepreneurial kind of thing: you come up with an idea one day, and suddenly you jump off the cliff with it. ” As the proficiency deadline approaches in July, Mikitani says employees “are progressing better than expected. ” He credits HBS assistant professor Tsedal Neeley, who wrote the Rakuten case study, with providing advice for communicating more clearly why English proficiency is important for Rakuten’s future. This is not just a Japanese company issue,” Mikitani points out. “Other companies doing global business also have been segregated by language. If we succeed, we’ll be followed by others. ” —RT Business English as International Language of Business Business English Training Courses, English Language TrainingAdd comments http://languageblog. communicaid. com/english-language-training/business-english-as-international-language-of-business/ What are the reasons why so many professional people are currently attending Business English courses?
The answer to this question is simple. English is the language for doing International Business. As a consequence, companies need those employees who are in relation with foreign clients or suppliers to have the skills in English which enable them to do their work efficiently. Even if an employee has good knowledge of the English language, he/she still needs to acquire the language to their professional area (logistics, human resources, etc. ) and therefore need to attend a Business English course.
In this post we will look at why English is in this position, what the implications of this are for the English language and Business English training courses and what future developments we can expect to witness. British colonialism spread the English language around the globe as it was administratively imposed on the non-English speakers in these colonies. English started to become increasingly influential on the world-scene at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The Versailles Treaty of 1919 was drawn up not only in French (the diplomatic language of the time) but also in English.
The US’s powerful political, military and economic position in the second half of the Twentieth Century meant that English became the main language of communication in such organisations as NATO and the IMF. The following facts from the British Council website reveal the current widespread use of English: English is spoken as a first language by around 375 million and as a second language by around 375 million speakers. Around 750 million people are believed to speak English as a foreign language. Due to the fact that Business English is so important, companies require increasing numbers of their employees to have knowledge of this language.
This knowledge is no longer the preserve of people in positions of responsibility; technicians who have to phone for support in another country and receptionists who receive foreign delegations also need to be able to do certain parts of their jobs in English. Companies therefore allocate a proportion of their training budgets to business English courses. This more diverse demand has led to the development of training courses which specialise in exactly what the delegate needs to know in order to be able to function correctly at work.
As Business is done in English between people who are not necessarily native speakers of the language, a simplified version of English is now emerging. This version is sometimes called ’standard’ or ‘international’ English. This new type of English for Business purposes is trimmed of all the non-essential grammatical structures and has a reduced common vocabulary. Phrasal verbs such as ‘go on ‘ and ’set up’ are not as important as ‘continue ‘ and ‘create’, for example, and knowledge of the difference between the present perfect and the past simple is no longer a priority in the training room.
The primordial objective of the business person using international business English is to communicate efficiently and effectively. Native speakers with their fast delivery, colloquial expressions and unclear pronunciation are feared in the business place as they have become the most difficult people to understand. The result of this is that native speakers may have to start learning how to speak a more communication-friendly form of their own language – i. e. international English According to a recent BBC article, US economic, military and political dominance is likely to decline over the next two decades.
This change shows that the situation that made English into the international Business language is going to change in the future. Will this mean that another language will replace English as the new language of international business communication? It is improbable as Chinese, for example, is such a difficult language to learn and does not have the same world-wide spread as English. Another emerging economy, India, already uses English substantially in everyday life. It is also true to say that International English is easier to learn than other forms of English such as British English or American English.
The result is that this standardised international version of English will become more and more prevalent in international business and training courses will have to reflect this reality. © Communicaid Group Ltd. 2010 Exforsys Inc Importance of English in International Business http://www. exforsys. com/career-center/english-vocabulary/importance-of-english -in-international-business. html Author : Exforsys Inc. Published on: 13th May 2007 | Last Updated on: 7th Feb 2011 Importance of English in International Business
While English is not the most widely spoken language in the world when you look at it in terms of the number of native speakers, it is the world’s most prominent language. While a larger number of people speak Chinese, that language is largely confined to China. English on the other hand, is spoken around the world. It has been estimated that out of the roughly 6 billion people that are alive today about 350 million speak English. When you look at the importance of English for International Business, you must look at more than just the number of people who speak it. You must also look at what the language is used for.
English is the ideal language for many governments around the world, and it is also prominent in business, education, world news, and communication. In addition to this, Western pop culture is also carried to foreign countries in the form of music or movies. If you wish to be successful in International business, learning English is incredibly important. In many places such as Asia, Africa, and South America, the ability to learn English will determine who will increase their living standards, and who will remain in poverty. There are a number of powerful tools that have allowed more people to learn English than ever before.
One of these tools is the Internet. The Power of the Internet in Spreading English Before the Internet, it was hard for you to learn English if you didn’t attend a college or university. These were the only institutions where the language was widely spoken. If you lived in a community so poor that it didn’t have a college or university, your chances of ever learning English were remote. While many people still live in these circumstances today, the Internet has allowed the English language to spread around the word. Because the Internet was invented in the West, English was inherently built into it.
Because Internet usage has expanded throughout the world, more people are being exposed to English. The advent of online universities has now made it possible for more people to learn English, people who may live in countries where access to standard education facilities is limited. While it may have been impossible for these people to learn English in the past, the Internet has opened up new career opportunities. These people are now able to learn English, and they can use their English skills to get better paying jobs at home, or they can use them to find jobs overseas.
In any event, the Internet has played a powerful role in allowing English to spread across the world, and the number of people learning it is likely to increase in the future. The Importance of English for Business Many companies have discovered early in the 21st century that they can cut their costs of production by sending their jobs overseas. The proper term for this is outsourcing, or offshoring. Some companies have also found that they can cut costs by bringing immigrants into the country on work visas. The employees will work for the company for a given period of time, and once their visa has expired, they can return home.
For someone living in a country where English is not the native language, they will need to master this language if they wish to travel to the United States to find a high paying job. While many people in English speaking countries complain about the impact of outsourcing, it presents lucrative opportunities for people living in foreign countries. Learning how to speak English can allow you to travel to a Western country, work there for a few months, make more money than you would make at home, and then bring the money back home to your family.
This is a practice that many people use, and it is factors such as outsourcing which have allowed them to do it. As you can see, learning how to speak English opened up a large number of doors, doors that would normally be closed. Ads Conclusion In many countries where English is not the native language, you are considered highly educated if you can speak the language properly. You will be presented with a number of career opportunities, and you will have the option of staying home to work, or you could travel abroad. When you learn how to speak English, the opportunities are limitless.
It’s estimated that up to 7,000 different languages are spoken around the world. 90% of these languages are used by less than 100,000 people. Over a million people converse in 150-200 languages and 46 languages have just a single speaker! Languages are grouped into families that share a common ancestry. For example, English is related to German and Dutch, and they are all part of the Indo-European family of languages. These also include Romance languages, such as French, Spanish and Italian, which come from Latin. 2,200 of the world’s languages can be found in Asia, while Europe has a mere 260.
Nearly every language uses a similar grammatical structure, even though they may not be linked in vocabulary or origin. Communities which are usually isolated from each other because of mountainous geography may have developed multiple languages. Papua New Guinea for instance, boasts no less than 832 different languages! http://www. bbc. co. uk/languages/guide/languages. shtml On the importance of English language education for students The Jakarta Post | Feature | Mon, October 29 2012, 12:22 PM http://www. thejakartapost. com/news/2012/10/29/on-importance-english-language-education-students. html Paper Edition | Page: 21
The English-language curriculum in the national education system has been a bone of contention among parents and education experts for many years, with many lamenting its focus on grammar and structure at the expense of creating a fun learning experience for students. The Jakarta Post’s Iman Mahditamatalked to the Education and Culture Ministry’s director general for secondary education, Hamid Muhammad, about the importance of instilling students with excellent English communication skills and the significance of extracurricular activities such as the Youth Speak Fun Day in helping students to master the language.
Below are excerpts of their conversation. Question: What is the significance of Youth Speak Fun Day (YSFD) for your directorate, given the bigger picture of the national education system? Answer: The secondary education directorate general has two main programs. The first is to ensure access to education for junior high school graduates. Every year, there are 1. 2 million graduates who cannot be accommodated in senior high schools. We are working to solve this. We are currently creating a layout for a national 12-year compulsory education scheme. However, access to education alone is not enough.
We also have to ensure the quality of education, which is our second program. It means nothing if we build more schools, but cannot develop students who are competent in their respective fields. In improving educational quality, the directorate general must be able to devise a scheme that will not only enhance the students’ intellectual ability, but also improve their character, as I believe that character is the basis of their future success. We have many smart kids who cannot do anything once they are out in the real world as they lack in communication skills. This is where extracurricular activities, such as the YSFD, can help.
It can be a medium for students to do fun stuff, interact, communicate, and play with others. We have to develop these activities to prevent our kids from getting too bored with academic stuffs. In short, we really, really support YSFD. If children in various regions in Indonesia seem to be enthusiastic over the event, it’s because they really do love it -because it gives them a space to really show their talents and skills. Without undermining the significant role of Indonesian instruction, what are your hopes for such events as the YSFD in the campaign to learn English?
In Indonesia, English is deemed as a foreign language instead of a second language. However, as our local communities are becoming more global, coupled with our country’s booming economy, learning and mastering English has become a must. So far, the local English curriculum is too focused on grammar and sentence structure at the expense of instilling excellent English communication skills, when, in fact, the latter was what we hope from our local schools. The YSFD can serve as a place for our kids to self-actualize themselves in fun and challenging ways. I believe “fun and challenging” is the key.
Some programs are just too challenging and too rigid that it can’t be fun. YSFD is different. I think that this is something good that needs to be spread to all regions in Indonesia. How do you think such activities as the YSFD can help stop students from the brawls that have broken out as of late? Brawls are a problem of metropolitan areas and large cities, many of which are lacking in facilities for teenagers to interact with each other in fun and positive ways. In the end, those kids are overflowing with energy, which they then release in negative, and sometimes destructive, behaviors.
I sincerely hope that activities like YSFD can be held in large cities as a place for these kids to channel their energy in positive, productive, and competitive ways. I think the effect will be exceptionally tremendous. By having more activities, we can prevent teenagers from forming gangs and involving themselves in negative activities. What is the role of partnerships with companies like The Jakarta Post Foundation and PT Chevron Indonesia for the directorate general in executing its programs? I sincerely thank both companies.
At least, we have good news in promoting our students who have tremendous skills and talents, rather than telling the bad news of student brawls all the time, which is honestly exhausting. I truly welcome every company who wants to help us with our program. It will be beneficial for all, no doubt about that. There will always be those who see the country’s huge population and when they see what we’ve done, they’ll say that what we do won’t mean much. I don’t agree with that. At least, we’ve done something good. The thing that we do may only be on a small scale, but the ripple effect will be incredible.
People will see that we’ve done something good and that the result on the kids is also good. The Education and Culture Ministry plans to streamline the national curriculum and erase English as a compulsory subject for elementary schools starting from next year. Will that affect the English curriculum for secondary education? I think not. The plan was not to entirely erase the English subject, but rather to make it as an optional school subject. Even now, when it is compulsory for students to learn English starting in the fourth grade, many elementary schools are not teaching the subject.
There will be streamlining, but that does not mean that we will ban elementary schools that voluntarily wish to teach their students English from doing so. Elementary schools that have the capability to teach English well will be allowed to teach the language. We will keep providing attention to the teaching of English anywhere in this nation, but we don’t want to make the subject compulsory when most schools are incapable of carrying it out. It is better for the subject to be optional. The most important thing is that the schools don’t have too many core subjects, but we open more possibilities by giving them optional subjects.
What plans and ideas do you have in mind for future campaigns of the use of English and prevention of student brawls? I think the most important is to change our English curriculum to focus on improving student communication skills. In fact, the current school-based curriculum [KTSP] has attempted to use that approach, but it fails because the teachers are so used to grammar and structure. It is impossible to tell our kids to learn to communicate in English when their teachers cannot do so. I believe that teachers of English at our schools must use English, instead of Indonesian, in class.
That is what we are trying to reinforce in the new curriculum. Training for teachers, therefore, is a must. I think it’s a huge mistake if English teachers use Indonesian while in class. It’s fine in primary education levels. But in senior high schools, everyone must be brave enough to talk in English. I also encourage schools to have one day when everyone must speak English. In this aspect, the curriculum of Gontor Islamic Boarding School [in Ponorogo, East Java] is better than ours. They implemented a dual-language teaching system, using English and Arabic.
Their graduates can speak English fluently because they use it every day. No one seems to protest that, whereas when we try to enforce our international standard project (RSBI) schools to use English, everyone protested. They say that enforcement ran against the spirit of nationalism. How can they be so narrow-minded? Mastering a foreign language does not mean your love for your country will fade away. Haji Agus Salim, a national hero, was widely known during his lifetime for having mastered more than five foreign languages. No one has ever questioned his nationalism.
What is the importance of English in today’s world? English Language Questions Best Answer http://EzineArticles. com/? expert=Raghu_Sundaram http://wiki. answers. com/Q/What_is_the_importance_of_English_in_today’s_world Frankly speaking, it is highly essential to know the language for communication. In general, the most popular language is English. In this computer age, English is the only language that any one can understand. So to say, it has become as an ideal language for expressing our feelings. First, we have to learn the language and then we have to gain fluency in the language.
Unless we have the fluency in English language, it would not be possible to work with the computer. If you do not know English, then you would be in need of a translator to do the job. The first stage of learning this language would be very interesting. Once you are fluent with the alphabets, slowly you can learn many words. It would always be better to follow the method of reading first, then writing. You can use the picture books for this purpose. When you feel that you are familiar with the words, you can form sentences. This is the most interesting stage to learn.
You just think of a sentence in your mother language, and try to write the same sentence in English. There could be some mistakes. But you should not bother about it. But, you have to write the same sentence using many different words till you are satisfied with your sentence. If you follow this way, very soon you can create sentences of your own. The next step is learning the grammar of the language. It is quite simple and very systematic compared with other languages. There are certain rules and regulations for each and every topic in grammar of this language.
As long as you follow the rules and regulations, it would be a difficult task to make mistakes. You would gain that much guidance from the grammar. The presentation is the most important factor in communicating your feelings. So, naturally you must be sure while you are presenting. what you really wish to say. At any point, do not try to write or speak, beyond your capability. Even if it is a small and simple sentence, it would reach the receiver perfectly. This is our basic idea. Slowly, you can improve the standard of your language by practice.
If you know to form the sentences, it is more than enough to go deep into the subject. Though this only an article about the importance of the English Language, we have to learn some of the basic points in presenting the sentences. There are three different types of sentences: They are, 1. Statements. 2. Interrogative sentence. 3. Imperative sentence. 4. Exclamatory sentence. To begin with, you must know the difference between a phrase and a sentence. Phrase is a group of words, which gives meaning, but not complete meaning. A sentence is a group of words, which makes a complete sense. . Statement: The sentence starting with nouns or pronouns is known as statement. Example: Rome is a church city. 2. Interrogative sentence: There are two types of interrogative sentences. a. “wh” type question. The sentences starting with the following fords are “wh” type question. What, When, Where, Who, How many, How long and etcetera. Example: Why did you come late? 2. What are you doing there? b. “yes or no” type question. For which sentences you get the reply either with yes or no they are called yes or no type question. Example: Is your father a doctor? The answer: No sir. 3.
Imperative sentence: The sentence that gives command, request, and advice is known as Imperative sentence. Example: Walk on the pavement. 2. Eat regularly. 4. Exclamatory sentence: The sentence that expresses the sudden feelings or strong emotions is known as exclamatory sentence. Example: Alas! He is dead. 2. Oh! What a beautiful sight. When you are familiar with the above points, it would be very interesting to you to create many wonderful sentences. In general, the sentences are divided into three different kinds. They are, 1. Simple sentence. 2. Compound sentence. 3. Complex sentence.
Though it very essential to have knowledge in handling the above sentences, we have to study them separately. In this essay, we are talking about the importance of the language. Many people make mistakes even with the usage of articles. It is a pity that even scholars may make mistakes. So, you should not get dejected with your style of writing. There is a lot of difference between these two. 1. a few 2. few When you want to say that you have friends, you have to say that,” I have a few friends. ” When you want to say that you do not have friends, you have to say that, “I have few friends. This is the opposite meaning of the word, many. Apart from these, there are many points to be discussed later. When you feel that you are already strong on the above subjects, you can develop your knowledge for betterment of your knowledge. As long as you educate yourself, you will come across many new things. There is no end for learning. All the above points are used in the normal usage of English. The literature value of the English Language is entirely different and should be dealt separately. Article Source: http://EzineArticles. com/? expert=Raghu_Sundaram Importance of the English Language in today’s world ttp://zeeshannaved. hubpages. com/hub/importanceofenglishlanguages This Hub was last updated on July 10, 2012 Language is the source of communication. Its the way through which we share our ideas and thoughts with others. There are uncountable languages in this world. Because every country has their own national language, then they have different local languages spoken and understood by their people in different regions. Let’s talk about English. It is the language of England and has International Standard. Many people think English as American Language but it is not true.
In fact, when Columbus discovered America, he saw the country in the Stone Age with high illiteracy rate. Those were the European and English people who brought education and knowledge even technology towards America. There are several factors that make us to learn English Language to go through in the current time. First of all, as I already mention, it has International Standard, that’s why everyone needs to learn English in order to get in touch on International Level. If we see Educational field, we will find much of the syllabus is written in English. Children are taught and encouraged to learn English on starting levels.
And accordingly, as they promote to the next levels they study almost all the subjects in English. We see the Internet and finds more than 90% of websites written and created in English. And even when you see some sites in other languages, they also give you the option to translate in English. All the research and studies you find will be written and typed in English. All the information regarding each and everything contains English Language. There is another factor that make English very important in this world is it is the easiest language of the world to learn.
Many people think that it is very difficult and confusing. But I suggest them to start and learn only for a week and they will feel easy with English. With good understanding and communication in English, we can travel around the globe. We get assistance and help in English in every part of world. You can test it by on line travel. Better you visit some offices, companies, governmental organizations, and other departments, and you will see the importance of English as they hire the professional staff after getting know that whether the people they are hiring are good at English or not.
This is the company’s will that their staff is not even well educated but also good English speaker, writer and Reader. Those who are still unaware about the importance of English. They should start learning English as a time will come when everything would be understood, spoken and written in English. Better watch some media and get the scope of English. 15 KASIM 2008 CUMARTESI http://toeflgencligi. blogspot. com/2008/11/importance-of-english. html IMPORTANCE OF ENGLISH: