Learning English Is Learning the Global Lingua Franca
English as we know it today is also labeled "Modern English" to distinguish the language from its historical roots. The English language is also viewed as the first global "lingua franca" – a language which serves as the mode of communication between two people with distinct mother tongues. Experts estimate that the number of non-native English speakers is already more than that of the native English speakers. Calculations show that for every 1 native speaker, there are 3 non-native speakers of English, or a ratio of 1 to 3.
There are many reasons why English holds a position being a worldwide lingua franca. Here are some of them:
- English is a dominant language in many countries and non-sovereign territories.
- English is also the primarily required international language when it comes to communications, business, science and technology, education and research, aviation, entertainment, mass media and diplomatic arrangements.
- The economic and cultural influences of the United States make it possible for the English language to spread the world over.
- Knowledge of English in different levels has become part of the requirements in many of the major fields and professions. These fields of study, occupations and careers are usually very important to any country or region in the world, like medicine and education.
- Instructional materials, resources and mode of instruction in most schools are mainly in written English. This is regardless of the country where these materials are to be used, regardless of the level of education (from primary, to secondary, to those offered by colleges and universities), and regardless of the profile of the materials' manufacturers.
- Manufacturers and other entities which want to be part of the international market, produce items and services inclined toward the English language.
- Subsequently, because the English language is required in the major fields and professions, there are already about one billion people from all parts of the globe who understand and speak English at least in the basic level.
- The United Nations, an international mediating body, uses English as one of its six official languages.
- The Internet, a vast resource of information and probably the best communication tool ever created, is about 95% English.
There is no denying that English is already the global lingua franca of today. Learning English will definitely open up a gate of opportunities for years to come.