Why Learn English: Top Reasons and Benefits

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Why Learn English: Top Reasons and Benefits

Why learn English? The better question is, “why not learn English?”. Almost 20% of the world’s population speaks English as a first, second or additional language. Additionally, English is the official language of more than 80 sovereign and non-sovereign entities. There’s no good reason to not learn English. Speaking the global language of the world can only bring you benefits – both personal and professional.

Top 10 Reasons to Learn English

  1. Global prevalence: English is the most widely spoken language in the world;
  2. Access to information: 60% of ALL web content is in English;
  3. Academic opportunities: English is a must for admission into the world’s top universities;
  4. Career advancement: Having English as a skill can boost your career & paycheck;
  5. Literary access: Some of literature’s most influential works are in English;
  6. Cultural access: English is the language of popular culture and entertainment;
  7. Professional relationships: English can help you build better work relationships;
  8. Ease of learning: English is easy to learn thanks to the many resources available;
  9. Social networking: Speaking English can help you make more friends;
  10. Travel: English can simplify traveling, making it easier to communicate and get immersed.

English is only the third most spoken language by native speakers. However, by total number of speakers, English is the first. In 2024, there are more than 1.5 billion speakers of English worldwide. That’s reason enough to start learning English today.

Still unsure? A recent Pearson study revealed English fluency can boost salaries by up to 80%. Additionally, 85% of respondents in the same study believe English is a vital skill for professional success.

And the list of reasons to learn English can go on. If you’re ready to start now, you can learn English online with Mondly. It’s easy, it’s fun; you’ll love it!

Why English Matters Globally

English matters globally because it has become the lingua franca of the world.

A lingua franca, literally “Frankish tongue”, also known as a bridge language, trade language, or link language, is adopted to facilitate communication between groups of people who do not share a native language.

This definition perfectly describes English. To address the initial question: English matters globally because it is now the most widely spoken language in the world, serving as the primary means of communication in many sectors, including business, education, science, tourism, aviation, and international diplomacy. But how did English get chosen for such an important task?

How Did English Become So Widespread?

The spread of the English language can largely be attributed to the British Empire, the largest empire in history. As the United Kingdom expanded its influence worldwide, English spread alongside it.

To further add to this, the emergence of the United States as a global superpower after World War II only strengthened English’s status as a global language.

These historical events have led to English becoming the dominant language of the internet, media, and popular culture, further cementing its role as a crucial tool for global connectivity and understanding. Its importance is not just in the number of people who speak it but also in its capacity to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering a global community.

Advantages of Being Fluent in English

Let’s imagine you’ve already learned English. Maybe you just need to improve your skills to converse as comfortably as you would in your native language. What benefits do you gain from being fluent in English?

You can:

  • Use Google more effectively and say goodbye to fruitless searches in your native language.
  • Apply to top universities around the world.
  • Communicate with a global audience—especially useful if you’re a content creator or wish to become one.
  • Take the Pearson Test of English (a great English proficiency test) if you haven’t already.
  • Expand your job search to a global level.
  • Enjoy movies, music, and books in their original language, as much is lost in translation.
  • Attend international conferences and seminars.
  • Access higher education resources (many of them for free!).
  • Participate in cultural exchanges.
  • Travel the world without worrying about communication barriers.

The advantages of being fluent in English far exceed the effort of learning it. Plus, English is not a hard language to learn. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll reap the benefits for life.

How English Skills Boost Your Career

English skills will not only boost your career but will also potentially increase your earnings. Recent evidence supports this claim, notably from a Pearson study titled “How English Empowers Your Tomorrow: The Life-Changing Impact of Learning English on Your Career and Beyond”, which sheds light on the growing significance of English in the workplace.

Reasons to learn English

Pearson’s analysis indicates that English proficiency is becoming an essential skill in the global job market. The study’s compelling findings reveal that individuals proficient in English often have an advantage in securing higher-paying jobs. Here’s a closer look at how English skills make a difference based on the study’s data.

Pearson study findings on English skills

  • 80% of respondents see a link between English proficiency and higher earning potential.
  • 85% state that English is crucial for their jobs, a trend expected to continue.
  • 51% believe English opens up a broader array of job opportunities.
  • 55% say effective English communicators can earn up to 50% more, with another 25% believing the increase can be between 60-80%.
  • 85% consider English essential for professional success, with 88% of Gen Z—the future leaders—predicting its importance will rise to 92% over the next five years.

Secure your future with English skills

  • 40% of survey participants think AI might replace their jobs in the next five years.
  • The concern is higher among younger generations, with 43% of Gen Z and Millennials worried about AI job replacement, compared to 32% of Gen X and 21% of Boomers.
  • About 40% are learning English to counteract the impact of AI and technology on their careers, either to keep pace with tech advancements or to enhance their skill set and stay competitive in the job market.

The consensus is clear: proficiency in English is key to a successful career. What are your thoughts?

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Learning English for Cultural Awareness

Understanding different cultures makes us more compassionate and well-rounded individuals. Learning English, in particular, can be a powerful way to gain this understanding. While becoming fluent in multiple languages is beneficial for cultural awareness, English, as the world’s lingua franca, opens the door to a wide variety of cultures.

Here’s how learning English can be a great tool for understanding and appreciating the cultures of the world:

  • Universality: Learning English can empower you to engage with global issues and participate in cross-cultural dialogues;
  • Communication: English skills facilitate communication with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds;
  • Exploration: Knowing English allows you to access a vast array of literature, movies, music, and media in English, offering insights into different cultures, values, and worldviews;
  • Education: English is the language of instruction in many universities around the world and getting accepted into one of them can expose you to new ideas, innovations, and cultural exchanges that will enrich your life;
  • Social Integration: For those moving to English-speaking countries or communities, learning English is crucial for social integration and making connections. It allows for a smoother transition to new environments, enabling meaningful interactions and cultural exchange.

Learning English is not just about mastering a language; it’s about opening doors to the world. It enables you to understand and appreciate the richness of global cultures, fosters personal and professional growth, and equips you with the tools to navigate and contribute to the global community effectively.

English for Seamless Travel Experiences

Do you enjoy traveling? If so, learning English can greatly improve your trips. While English speakers often take English for granted, being able to communicate in English can transform your travel experiences. Imagine traveling to a foreign country and not being able to order the food you wanted because you can’t communicate with the waiter. English can bridge that gap.

Of course, learning the local language is best, but English will help you almost anywhere around the world.

Let’s discover how speaking English can improve your travel experiences. By knowing English, you will be able to:

  • Ask for directions when needed.
  • Understand signs, such as “Exit” in subway stations, even in countries like Japan.
  • Order your preferred dishes in restaurants without fear of misunderstandings.
  • Participate in tours and activities that may only be available in English.
  • Communicate with locals and other travelers more easily, creating opportunities for deeper cultural exchanges and friendships.
  • Navigate through airports, train stations, and bus terminals with confidence.
  • Access emergency services or medical assistance without language barriers.
  • Make well-informed decisions while shopping, comprehending product descriptions, and haggling prices where it’s customary.
  • Use online resources more effectively, as many websites, apps, and customer service hotlines operate in English.

Speaking English can significantly enhance your travel experience, making it more enjoyable, safe, and enriching. It empowers you to be more independent and confident as you explore the world.

learning English

Everyday Benefits of Speaking English

The everyday benefits of speaking English are countless—take it from the millions of people who learned English as an additional language. Wherever you are in the world, learning English is one of the best personal investments.

Having covered the reasons to learn English and the advantages of being fluent in English, let’s dvelve into detail with some of the most important benefits of speaking English.

Unlimited internet exploration

For me, as someone who learned English as a second language, this is perhaps the most significant benefit. Without English, I wouldn’t have grown, learned, and certainly wouldn’t be writing this article for you.

Do you have a household issue? Or perhaps a question about… virtually anything? While finding answers in your native language might be challenging, English likely offers a solution. Don’t go as far as to google your symptoms, as you may fall into a trap, but anything else – go for it!

Endless content streaming & books

Another reason why I love knowing English is being able to read any book I want. I read “The Lord of the Rings” in my native language many years ago, but translation rarely does a writer true justice. I was able to fully experience the magic of Middle Earth only I finally read it in English. The same goes for “A Song of Ice and Fire”—reading it in English was the best decision.

Additionally, the Pearson study mentioned earlier found that 53% of Gen Z respondents learn English to enjoy movies, shows, and online content. Streaming services might offer subtitles, but many YouTube creators do not. So, that is one more benefit of speaking English.

Professional success

Knowing English opened career opportunities for me that I had never dreamed possible. And once I got hired, my English skills allowed me to communicate with my global colleagues and make more friends. As a bonus, I was able to progress and get promoted to a better position.

For me, these three aspects are the most important benefits of speaking English. What about you? Why would you want to learn English?

In conclusion, the reasons to learn English are undeniable. Being spoken by nearly a fifth of the global population and holding official status across numerous countries and territories, English stands as a vital conduit for international dialogue and opportunity. The question isn’t so much whether one should learn English but rather why one would choose not to. The advantages it offers, ranging from enhanced personal growth to expanded professional possibilities, affirm English’s unparalleled value as the world’s lingua franca.

Before you go, make sure to check out these FAQs.

What are the benefits of learning English?

The benefits of learning English are vast and multifaceted, offering both personal and professional advantages. English, as the most widely spoken global language, unlocks access to the world’s top academic institutions, broadens career opportunities, and enhances salary potential. It provides a wealth of information and entertainment, facilitates international travel, and serves as a key to engaging with global cultures.

Why do we need to learn English?

We need to learn English because it serves as the global lingua franca, facilitating communication and understanding across diverse cultures. Its universal presence in international business, science, technology, and entertainment makes it essential for accessing a wealth of knowledge and opportunities.

Is it essential to learn English for career advancement?

Yes, learning English is essential for career advancement, especially in a globalized economy. Proficiency in English can significantly broaden career opportunities, enabling access to international job markets and roles in multinational corporations.

Why learn English is difficult?

Learning English can be difficult due to its complex grammar, extensive vocabulary, and the nuances of pronunciation and spelling. English is filled with irregular verbs, idiomatic expressions, and homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings or spellings), which can be confusing for learners. Additionally, it borrows extensively from other languages, resulting in a wide variety of phonetic sounds and spelling rules.

Have you made up your mind about learning English?

Try Mondly, the award-winning language app that is serious about making learning English fun.

Instead of tiring yourself for hours with inch-thick textbooks, slip a 10-minute Mondly lesson into your routine and make learning a breeze. You will learn English naturally using:

  • practical topics;
  • hands-on, interactive language lessons;
  • intelligent suggestions and instant feedback on pronunciation;
  • crystal-clear audios of fluent speakers;
  • real-life conversations and so much more.

Start using Mondly for free on your computer or download the app and learn English anytime, anywhere.

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Diana Lăpușneanu - Linguist at Mondly Blog

Diana is a Linguist at Mondly by Pearson. Learning English as a second language early on fueled her lifelong passion for language learning, leading her to pursue a diverse array of languages as a hobby alongside her academic endeavors. With a Master’s Degree in advertising and a fascination for historical linguistics, she brings a unique perspective to her role, making language learning fun for readers worldwide.

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