“English is critical for countries’ successful participation in the global economy, that it provides individuals with access to crucial knowledge, skills and employment opportunities and enables organisations to create and sustain international links. ” (Council, 2011) Recently I was in a well-known hotel for a conference. While I was waiting, I overheard a guest ask in English until what time was breakfast served. I was surprised to see that none of the staff members understood the question. After several tries I had to intervene and help with the translation.
This experience got me thinking of what an important role the English language plays today: it’s the main source of communication; the way through which we can share our ideas and thoughts with everyone around the world. The English language has experienced a huge expansion over time. During the time of Shakespeare, English was the native language of only a few million people in the world. It has since expanded to the point where today there are around 600 million people that have it as their mother tongue and a similar number of people use it as a second language.
Developments such as the automobile, airplane, radio, television, radar, computers and Internet along with countless others have enormously helped the growth of this language. All of these inventions were manufactured in the United States and Britain and exported to other non-English speaking countries, showing highly scientific and technological superiority. This phenomenon resulted in these non-English speaking countries creating their own industries and importing technicians and scientists from developing countries, therefore contributing to the strength and expansion of English through trade, science and technology.
The importance of English in international tourism is well recognized. Tourism is particularly important to developing countries. English has become the major source of communication at all levels: politics, economy, trade, tourism, science, technology; and for this reason to master English is a top priority in this world where international relations are demanding and globalization is increasing.
There is a need for English language training and the publication of English language course books designed particularly for these types of industries. This is why any professional that wants to be informed and updated on the developments that are taking place in their area of knowledge needs to keep up technologically and be fluent in English. According to a study conducted in Australia, there are many fields in which English is essential. Research: This is the first necessity.
Any researcher or professional who wants to keep up or access specialized books and library materials inevitably needs to know English to be informed of the rapid developments that are taking place in their area of expertise because 75% of the writings are in English. This also includes other content provided by different existing media (television, radio, newspapers, videos and movies). Telecommunications: Most internet web sites are published in English, there’s an estimated 40 million Internet users and 80% of them are currently communicating in this language.
The percentage of web users who are not native English speakers is growing rapidly. Manual Handling: It should be noted that given the rapid advance of technology in all fields, the instructions for the use of devices and instruments and equipment either for assembly, use, operation, maintenance or cleaning, usually come in English. Knowledge of English in these cases could be very useful and profitable, adding also the satisfaction that comes with the ability to make their own work without having to depend on others. English is also important for interaction with other people.
As a historical and tourist country, millions of foreigners visit us every year and therefore we must be able to communicate with them. In this globalized world English serves as a key element in many situations, giving companies a better opportunity on the market and an advantage over those who lack the ability to communicate in this language. There is no doubt that professional knowledge and experience is essential but staying at the top requires more than that. The solution to this problem lies in constant learning and training; and making sure that employers and employees realize the importance of English at the workplace.
For the reasons mentioned above, learning English has become an increasingly pressing need and to this need, it is not surprising that most governments have decided to include the English language within the educational programs of their respective countries. Obviously, this is a clear demonstration of the undeniable importance of English, which is why we can say that the knowledge of English for any professional is not a luxury but a necessity, and we must start making these changes in our country.
We must understand that this language is now a fundamental tool that contributes to a better future for young people and we need to train professionals and students with basic tools to help them understand the language and communicate with English speakers.
Council, H. C. -B. (August de 2011). Asociacion Mexicana de Maestros de Ingles, MEXTESOL A. C. Recuperado el 20 de November de 2012, de Asociacion Mexicana de Maestros de Ingles, MEXTESOL A. C. : http://www. mextesol. net/journal/index. php? page=journal&id_article=64 S. Arkoudis, L. Hawthorne, C. Baik, G. Hawthorne, K. O’Loughlin, D. Leach, E. Bexley (August de 2009). English Language Proficiency and Workplace Readiness. The impact of English language proficiency and workplace readiness on the employment outcomes of tertiary international students: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, Centre for the Study of Higher Education The University of Melbourne, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: http:aei. gov. au/research/Publications/Documents/ELP_Executive_Summary. pdf