Speaking English –
Speaking a world
Speaking English is a key requirement in today’s world: on the job, at school, while traveling or using the Internet. We are all speaking English when doing business, traveling to a foreign country or reading a scientific article online.
English has become the new Lingua franca, or bridge language. In order to communicate, a Spanish Sales manager and a Chinese Marketing executive will both be speaking English. It is the language they have in common.
Some interesting facts about speaking English:
- 360 million people worldwide are speaking English as their native tongue, but over one billion (1 billion 125 million) people are speaking English as a Second/Foreign Language.
- The country with the most English speakers is the US (250 million people), followed by India (125 million people).
- Because so many people want to be speaking English, it is the most often taught foreign language.
- Astronauts, airplane pilots and sea men are all speaking English, because it is the official language for aeronauticaland maritime communications.
Speaking English well is essential for our global communication. We need to understand and use English grammar and vocabulary correctly. Good pronunciation, too, is a must-do.
“The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.”
That’s what Professor Henry Higgins practises with the flower girl Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady“. She has to repeat it over and over again, until her pronunciation improves. Eliza Doolittle is a simple girl from Cockney, a part of London, where people are speaking English with a special accent, the Cockney English.
Tongue twisters are a very effective way of working on your pronunciation when speaking English. Let’s try another one:
“In Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly happen.”