Woman sitting on a table using a laptop

Why Learn English? 13 Reasons to Start

English is only the world’s third most-spoken language by native speakers.

However, when you count all the people who speak English as a second, third or fourth language, then English is definitely the most-spoken language around the world! In fact, 1.5 billion people speak it each year.

Do you need some motivation to start learning English, or to complete your learning journey of English? Are you wondering why you are working so hard to learn English?

Read on to learn the top 13 reasons why it’s a good idea to learn English today.

Contents

1. English Is Easy to Learn

A stack of English textbooks

Most people think that learning a language is very difficult.

In many cases, it is easier for certain people to learn English because English is related to their native language. For people who live in different parts of the world and speak languages that are not related to English, English can sound very foreign, confusing and frustrating.

However, there is something important that makes English very easy for everyone:

The vast availability of resources. Because English is such a widespread language and is found all over the globe, the resources you can use to learn English are endless. It’s easy to teach yourself English because there are tons of resources on the internet for free. Sometimes you will need to pay a little bit to take an English course online or access another resource, but they are often worth the money.

2. More Work Opportunities

An overhead view of Sydney Harbor

Many large companies around the world require that their employees speak English. In some cases, these companies are requiring their workers to only use English.

As the world becomes more globalized, it is only natural that big businesses will want and need to communicate more. Right now, everyone is trying to learn and communicate in English. English is becoming the common language that people from different countries and cultures can use to communicate with one another.

As Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told CNN, “if you want to become successful in other countries, you need to internationalize your headquarters.” Because people from around the world know English and use it to communicate with everyone else, it is important that employees also know English. English is an important part of this process of becoming more internationalized.

You do not just need English to work at American, Australian and British companies. In my own experience as an English professor in Korea, many students have come to me asking for help with required English interviews at Samsung, LG and other large Korean companies.

3. Access to World Class Education

A university lecture hall

These days it is relatively easy to take an English class. Whether you take this class online, on Skype or in the classroom, there are many options out there.

But here is a new idea for you: Have you ever considered trying to take a class about a specific subject in English?

Imagine all of the things you could learn by taking an American history class from an American, a math class from an Australian or an English literature class from a British teacher?

This kind of class, taught completely in English, will let you learn about culture, intonation, body language, vocabulary and slang while also learning about an interesting subject like history, math or anything else that you personally love to study!

Furthermore, there are many great works of literature, science, history and social science that were written in English first. Do not lose anything by trying to read a translation. Instead, you will come closer to the heart of what the writer is trying to say by reading the original writing in English.

4. Easily Travel Anywhere in the World

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

I am a native English speaker and I have traveled to many places in the world. Communication has almost never been a problem for me, because people all around the world speak English. I have been able to speak English in every country I have visited. While learning a few words in the local language is always a good idea—it is polite and shows respect—English will help you with the details of travel.

In many places where you will travel, people find English important for their businesses. They need to know English in order to communicate with potential clients and customers. In most hotels, at least one employee will speak English—often, many of the employees speak English. This makes it easier for customers to get what they need and spend their money.

Even people in small town markets around the world know how to bargain with English speakers.

You will find that some of your best interactions will be with people on the streets who are trying to sell you something or who are looking to improve their English speaking skills. English will bridge the communication gap on your travels and make traveling a breeze.

5. Know the Global Language

A group of women talking and laughing

It is a historical fact that the economic power wielded by Great Britain and America over the last few centuries has resulted in English being so widespread today.

This has taken a long time, and many good things and bad things have happened in the process. English spread through war, trade, slavery and religious missionaries. History is complicated and it is not always pleasant, but today we can recognize that English is being spoken everywhere in the world.

We cannot change what happened in the past. However, we can use English as a positive power! We can use it to bring the world together, to communicate with people from foreign countries and to understand each other better.

Not only will it make traveling easier, but English will also allow you to know more about global trends, culture and social issues. It will give you a deeper understanding of people’s different perspectives on life.

You will be able to communicate with people who do not speak your native language. Knowing English will let you be part of a global conversation!

6. Learn About Culture

A red London bus travels in front of the Parliament building

Language and culture cannot be separated. Language is culture, and culture is language. Simply said, knowing English will give you a better understanding of people who live in English-speaking countries. Knowing the English language gives you more insight into how people think, live and work.

It is not enough to just know basic words and phrases. To communicate well in English, you must know about things like tone, body language and facial expressions. You might think an English speaker is being crass, rude or dismissive when they are not!

One way to improve your cross-cultural communication skills is to practice using authentic content in English. 

In this case, the FluentU language learning website and app could be a helpful resource. 

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

  FluentU Ad

7. Meet and Date More People

Two people on a date

Okay. Maybe getting a great, romantic date is all the motivation you need.

Well, you will be happy to know that English will increase the number of people you could possibly date. Try meeting people who speak English on a dating site, through Facebook or another social media site.

English speakers are generally very understanding when talking to people who are learning English, and they have plenty of patience. Do not worry if your English skills are not perfect yet. You are already very interesting because you are bilingual!

8. Improve Your Confidence

A man delivers a speech in front of a crowded auditorium

I doubt there is any person alive who does not wish they could speak another language. It is a skill that everyone would love to add to their resume. With a little bit of studying every day, you can have this skill. Then you can be very proud of your ability to communicate with a wide variety of people.

Learning a language is hard and everyone knows it. People will automatically respect your commitment to learning and maintaining your English. Your ability to help and communicate with people will help you earn respect.

People will also seek you out to learn about you and your perspective on things. They will be interested in you and your experience in life. They will want to know the thoughts, hopes, fears and opinions of someone from another culture. When you feel more like you are more interesting, you will feel more special and confident!

9. Exercise Your Brain and Increase Your Cognitive Flexibility

A man pondering a natural scene

If nothing else, learning English will make you smarter and keep your brain strong.

Scientists have been demonstrating that bilinguals are able to understand concepts quickly and get better scores on tests. Who would not want that?

One of the greatest benefits of learning any second language is increased cognitive flexibility or, in other words, how stretchy your brain is. By switching between two languages, bilingual people build this flexibility. 

It’s been shown that bilingual children show better attention skills and have a greater ability to switch between tasks. Author Tracy Trautner writes that “Bilingual children may have a superior ability to focus on one thing and change their response, easily indicating cognitive flexibility.”

When you learn a language, you’re learning more words and making more associations between words. This is helpful when communicating in English, but it can also be helpful for communicating in your native language.

10. Connect to a Global Network

three-people-talking-in-a-European-plaza

One of the reasons you may be learning English is because it’s considered a global language. More than 80 countries have formally listed English as an official language. A total of around 1.5 billion people around the world speak English—that’s a fifth of the world’s population! 

There’s a reason why English is one of the most common second languages: it’s one of the most commonly used languages across the internet and in academia. By learning English, you can connect to this giant global network of English speakers.

11. Enjoy English-language Entertainment

Man-watching-TV-at-home

Because English is spoken by so many people around the world, it’s one of the primary languages of entertainment.

Many movies, TV shows, songs and books were originally created in English. Beyond their creative and educational value, these media products are just plain entertaining. 

By learning the language, you can experience art and entertainment in its native language. While language dubbing is super helpful for many people, there’s nothing like watching a movie or TV show in its original language with the voices of the actors who you’re seeing on the screen.  

12. Network Better 

two-women-talking-in-office

One of the great things about learning English is that it connects you to people around the world. You can connect with more people on social media, as you travel and in your daily life. These connections can actually turn into relationships if you’re able to communicate well. 

Learning a language can be a very social activity. As you study English, you may practice by having one-on-one conversations with English speakers or other students learning English. You may join study groups or find a penpal, and you’ll probably meet other students in English classes who may not speak the same native language as you. 

Speaking English is a great way to make connections with people around the world and build relationships that you might not otherwise be able to have. 

13. Better Understand the Tech Industry

An array of laptops and smartphones on a desk

English is the dominant language in the tech industry. Many programming languages, software documentation, and technical resources are available primarily in English. Proficiency in English can be beneficial for those pursuing careers in technology and IT.

English is the language of scientific research and academic publications. To stay at the forefront of innovation and contribute to global research, scientists and researchers worldwide need a strong command of English.

 

So, be smarter, more confident and helpful, get a job and date more.

That sounds good, right?

English is one key that unlocks a world of possibility.

And One More Thing...

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:

learn-english-with-videos

If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.

learn-english-with-subtitled-television-show-clips

FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:

learn-conversational-english-with-interactive-captioned-dialogue

FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

practice-english-with-adaptive-quizzes

FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Close