4 reasons why learning English (ESL) is important

4 years ago

With 1 in every 5 people able to speak it, English has proven to be one of the most important languages in the world to study. From academia to pop culture, English has become the language of choice and taken over the way we communicate and collaborate. In some cases, such as university studies, English has even become a necessity. So, whether we like it or not, English is the most useful language in the world.

Let’s look at 4 reasons why learning English is so important.



Through the advancements of technology, people are more connected than ever before. On average a person spends three to five hours on their smartphone searching the internet, using social media or connecting in other ways. But because of the influence of Hollywood and western media, English has become the language used to connect with movies, music, people and anything else that can be found online. The five largest broadcasters in the world – CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC and CBC – also use English. So even in a country where English is not the official language, people will be influenced by it.



There are only about 380 million native English speakers in the world, which is fewer than both Chinese or Spanish speakers. However, what it lacks in native speakers, it more than makes up for by being the most widely learned second language. English has the highest number of learners by far with 1.5 billion people studying the language.



English dominates the travel industry. It is spoken in over a hundred countries and is the official language of 35. But as the map shows, more than half the population of 46 different countries speak English. So for both travel and study abroad, English is the most important language to know.



English is now the preferred language of academia – even in countries where English is not the official language. In Europe alone, the number of undergraduate and masters programs taught fully in English increased by 239 per cent from the year 2007 to 2014. However, the influence of English in academia is not a new subject. Since 1880, academic publications in English have been on the rise – especially in the sciences. By 1996 almost all scientific publications were English and this trend continues to grow. While some are skeptical of the influence of English on academia, many believe that using one language to share information is the key to collaboration.


As globalization pulls the people of the world closer together, English grows in importance. From academia and business to travel and basic communication, English is not just a necessity but the language of choice.

So how do you improve your English? Check out our article comparing 5 ESL schools in Malaysia.

Shannon Baldwin
Shannon is a Canadian journalist and ESL teacher. She has over five years experience in journalism and several more years in education.

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