English speaking countries
Around 750 million people are believed to speak English as a foreign language*. One out of four of the world's population speak English to some level of competence. Demand from the other three-quarters is increasing."
* Native- the language you learned at home with your family when you were small.
* Official- the language that is used in official documents, spoken on the radio and on television
*Second language - language you learn because you have to live in the country where the language is spoken.
*Foreign language - languages spoken abroad, a language you can choose to study at school.
What people use English for
The British Council says "English is the main language of books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control, international business and academic conferences, science, technology, diplomacy, sport, international competitions, pop music and advertising. Over two-thirds of the world's scientists read in English.
Three quarters of the world's mail is written in English. Eighty per cent of the world's electronically stored information is in English. Of the estimated forty million users of the Internet, some eighty per cent communicate in English, but this is expected to decrease to forty per cent as speakers of other languages get online."
What our students say about English
"English is an easy language. There are no accents, the tenses of verbs are simplified and the adjectives are invariable", says Gustavo O. after three years studying it at school. Anaelle S. agrees with him but she finds the many different ways words are pronounced and the spelling difficult to cope with.
Nicolas de F. finds it interesting and cool because through it he can understand many films and songs. "You need English to travel around the world - it's a language almost everybody understands - so it's easier to communicate with people from different cultures", says Daniela K. . According to Aldebaran D., "you must speak English if you want a good job especially if you want to work with computers".
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