Why Learning English is Essential in Today’s Globalised World

*Reading articles in English will help you improve your English reading and writing skills. These articles by Absolute English will also help you learn English vocabulary and phrases to help you improve your fluency.
*After reading this article, see the reading comprehension exercises with answers.

Language Focus:21 words
Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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English might not be the most widely spoken language in the world (that honour goes to Chinese), but it is the world’s second most spoken language. It’s spoken as a foreign language by a massive 603 million people – more than double Arabic, in third place. English is the most popular second language in countries as far apart as Suriname, Denmark, Israel and Singapore. If you want to speak to the world, learn English.

English Language in Business:

The trend towards English is being led by international businesses; both Chinese electronics company Lenovo and German airline Lufthansa are now using English as their official language. Using English makes it possible for businesses to recruit the best talent from across the world and opens up their product to new markets. Employees who are hoping for a promotion or want to make their CV stand out should consider sharpening their English skills. If you can communicate with clients and suppliers of a company no matter what country they’re based in, then your skills are invaluable to an employer.

English Language in Education:

English is doubly important to anyone working in an academic discipline. According to research, 80% of the peer-reviewed journals in Scopus, the biggest database of journals, are published in English, and a report by the British Council in 2014 found that in a growing number of countries university subjects are being taught in English instead of the native language. If you want your papers to be read by scientists across the world, or you want to work with colleagues in other countries, you need to be able to talk to them in English.

English Language in Entertainment:

It’s not only academic writing that is mostly published in English. More books are published each year in English than in any other language, and Hollywood and its English-language films still dominates the industry. Of course, you can read translations or watch with subtitles, but these never quite match the experience of the original. The internet, too, is close to 54% English, according to the Web Technology Surveys. If you’re searching for information online then you’re much more likely to find what you’re looking for if you use English.

English Language for Travel:

Travel to most countries is easier if you speak their language, but it’s not possible to learn the language for every single country you might want to visit. It’s fairly likely, though, that you’ll be able to find someone who speaks English in most major cities in the world. People who work in the tourist industry learn English, so you will have no trouble understanding people at your hotel, on the plane or at a tourist site if you speak English.


The world is getting smaller, and globalisation is here to stay. We live in a time when changes in one country’s economy affect markets in the rest of the world, and where pollution from one country can damage everyone’s environment. These problems can only be solved if we co-operate across national boundaries, and to do that we have to have a common language. Whether you love it or hate it, the future is English.

Language Focus 

English Vocabulary and Expressions

1. widely – (adverb) over a large area or range, by the biggest group of people

  • The band’s CD was widely available. It was in many shops in many locations.

2. honour – (noun) a privilege, a very good thing, something of high respect

  • It is an honour to be invited to your wedding.

3. as far apart as – (expression) as distant as

  • There were fans at the concert from as far apart as Iceland and Samoa.

4. trend – (noun) fashion, direction things are moving in or changing

  • The trend these days is for people to get married later in life than they used to.

5. official language – (noun) a language given special status through which business is conducted

6. recruit – (verb: to recruit) to hire or enrol someone as a worker or member of an organisation

  • During the war, John was recruited to the army.

7. promotion – (noun) the action of promoting someone to a higher position in a company, usually with higher wages and more responsibility

  • After five years with the company, Bob got a promotion from assistant manager to manager.

8. stand out – (Phrasal verb: to stand out )be clearly better or more significant than someone or something

9. sharpening – (verb: to sharpen) making sharper, improving

  • Mary took a course in information technology in order to sharpen her computer skills.

10. skills – (noun) abilities, talents

  • John’s skills in the kitchen are terrible. He can’t even cook an egg properly.

11. no matter what – its not important what….

12. invaluable – (adjective) extremely useful, important

  • The knowledge I gained on the first aid course was invaluable.

13. doubly – (adverb) two times the normal amount

  • Speeding is stupid, but not wearing a seatbelt as well is doubly stupid.

14. peer-reviewed journals – (noun) journals where the research work of an expert is published only after it has been examined by other experts in the same subject (i.e. his peers – people of the same status as the expert)

15. database – (noun) structured data or information stored in a computer and accessible in different ways

  • Google store all your information in a huge database.

16. colleagues – (noun) people you work with

  • Frank gets on well with his colleagues. They are fun to work with.

17. dominates – (verb: to dominate) have power and influence over sth, to be the biggest or best in sth

  • The companies Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone market.

18. match – (verb: to match) be equal to, to be the same as

  • Swimming in an indoor swimming pool can never match the experience of swimming in the ocean.

19. have no trouble doing sth – it will be easy……

20. co-operate – (verb) work together to achieve the same results, assist someone or comply with their requests.

  • If we co-operate, we can achieve more than we can alone.

21. boundaries – borders between countries, limits or edge of sth


Comprehension Questions

Find the answers to these questions in the article..

  1. Why is there a trend for English to be used in international businesses?
  2. How is speaking English beneficial for someone working in an academic discipline?
  3. What is the relationship between English and entertainment?
  4. Why is it good to learn English for travel?
  5. How can English help the effects of globalization?

Comprehension Questions: True or False ?

Say whether the following statements are true or false. If they are false, say why.

  1. English is the most widely spoken language in the world.
  2. Some companies based in non-English speaking countries have made English their official language.
  3. Many universities is non-English speaking countries are teaching subjects in English.
  4. English is the second most popular language for book publishing.
  5. The majority of the internet is in English.
  6. It is difficult to find someone who speaks English when travelling.

Complete the sentences: EXERCISES

Complete these sentences with a highlighted word or phrase from the article.

  1. The ………… ………….. of Ireland are English and Irish. (accepted languages)
  2. There are many ………… …………..  available in my university’s library. (research papers reviewed by experts)
  3. The soldier considered it an …………….to have fought for her country. (privilege, sth of high respect)
  4. Mary has a policy to never date her ……………. (people she works with)
  5. Frank spent many hours on the gun range …………… his shooting skills. (improving)
  6. Game of Thrones is one of the most …………… known TV shows, it is watched all over the world. (over a large area, by the biggest group of people)
  7. Mary was …………… by Citibank as a financial analyst. (hired)
  8. You need a passport to cross most national ……………. (borders)
  9. After five years with the company, Bob got a …………… from assistant manager to manager. (a higher position in the company)
  10. The police asked the witnesses to …………… with the investigation. (assist someone or comply)

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