We often talk about English as a global language or, in other words, lingua franca. There are about 1.5-2.0 billion learners of the English language worldwide. We cannot tell the precise number as it has been changing constantly.
There are two main types of English-language learners across the world. 750 million people study English as a foreign language and 375 million learn English as a second language. What’s the difference between EFL (English as a foreign language) and ESL (English as a second language)? Well, EFL speakers use English for business or pleasure from time to time, while ESL students use English regularly in their everyday lives or at work.
It is not true that ESL students only need to know the language to communicate with native speakers. English is essential for everybody who wants to keep contact with the non-native English-speaking communities of the world. English is increasingly used as the lingua franca between people whose mother tongues are not English. English, as a common tongue, helps them in making business and cultural contacts easier.
The number of English learners around the world will surely grow in the next couple of decades. English is currently spoken by around 1.75 billion people. Just imagine, one fourth of all people on the planet would be able to understand each other in a language that is different from their 1st language! It is estimates that nearly 2 billion people will be using English soon.
Good command of English has been an increasingly useful skill for journalists and writers. Even if you’re writing your articles and doing interviews in your language, with good English, you can get background material from around the world. Your access to vital information will become boundless. You can interview foreign businessmen, diplomats, celebrities or you can cover overseas stories on behalf of your local medium. You won’t have to rely on translators and can work faster and more accurately picking the best English information sources.
Would you like to have a career in travel or tourism? Then, English is essential! The international language of aviation is English, of course! Pilots and cabin crew all need to speak reliable English. Even if you do not work for an airline, speaking English accurately will make sure you can communicate with foreign guests, colleagues and suppliers all over the world.
Put simply, you can’t neglect English! So, is there anything that prevents you from learning a truly global language? Are there any barriers? Well, there should not be! It's the best time ever to start learning English. There is an endless supply of English resources available on the internet. You can find many non-native and native English speakers on social media to practice with. Improve your knowledge step by step. Read books, watch movies, play online games, learn new words here and there, or even start using English Exam Tasks and take your first major steps towards becoming one of 800 million English speakers and nearly 2 billion learners in the world!