Is English Losing Importance? We don't think so
Is English no longer important in today’s world?
According to European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, English is just not as relevant as it used to be, but we know he is wrong.
Addressing an audience in Italy, Juncker said: "I will express myself in French because, slowly but surely, English is losing importance in Europe". But how true is this statement, really?
Should you give up on your plan to learn English and learn French instead?
English training leads the way
If you want to learn English, you are definitely not alone. For starters, even in Europe, English has been the EU’s official first language since 2004 and is the official language of the European Central Bank. A recent survey from the International Association of Language Centres (IALC) on the relative demand for 9 major foreign languages also shows English is still the preference of students around the world.
When looking at the demand of English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese, 78% of all language agent customers worldwide choose an English language course.
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Demand for English training is still growing
As well as being the most popular language for international students to learn, English language training is also growing and is far from the declining industry that Juncker’s comments would suggest it is. Demand for English language education grew by 63% between 2012-2015 and it is expected to grow even more (79%) between 2015-2018.
It is easy to see why so many people want to learn English. While English media has always traditionally been strong internationally, English also remains the dominant language of the internet and electronic communications with approximately 55% of the internet in English (although Chinese is starting to catch up).
International business still needs English
Foreign languages are still needed for business and remain an incredible boost to your CV. We recently wrote about ways you can translate your CV into English to make it even more effective.
Research that Kaplan carried out last year with the Economist Intelligence Unit showed that 53% of Europeans strongly agreed that the ability to speak additional languages is important to getting a job. Almost half (48%) of graduates also said they had studied a foreign language alongside their primary discipline.
“It seems that Monsieur Juncker’s assertion that the importance of English in Europe is declining is simply not borne out by the facts. Being an impressive polyglot himself, he might do well to resume addressing his EU colleagues in their official language.”
-William Barber, IALC Marketing Executive
What about you? Are you trying to decide between studying English and studying a different language? Let us know in the comments or tweet it to us!