Obama Inspires the World to Learn English

President Barack Obama inspires more people to learn English than any other celebrity, according to a new language study.

Research by Kaplan International Colleges revealed that more than half of English learners were inspired to study the language in order to understand someone famous and Obama was deemed the most popular person.

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Kaplan discovered in a global survey of 1,213 English learners that 52% improved their language skills to comprehend a celebrity and 22% of this number did so just to understand what President Obama had to say.

Ekaterina Haskins, PhD Associate Professor of Rhetoric Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said: “One of the most accomplished orators of his generation, Barack Obama proves that artfully composed and well delivered speech can be a powerful tool of political leadership and social change.

“What makes him a genuinely inspiring speaker, however, is his ability to recruit his audience members to become agents of change. He achieves this not by pandering to his listeners’ entrenched political and social values but by visualizing what we, the people, might become if we set aside our prejudices and agree to work together toward “a more perfect union.”

Obama’s appeal to English learners everywhere is so great that he managed to beat off competition from international pop stars such as Rihanna (10%), Katy Perry (8%), Eminem (7%) and Beyonce (7%).

Richard Greene, Communication Strategist and Public Speaking Coach, said: "President Obama is, indeed, a wonderful example of the power of words. It took only 16 minutes of hearing him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention for America to want him to be their leader.

“If those learning English were to model the communication skills of Barack Obama, they, too, would be well on their way to tremendous success in whatever they choose to do!”

Kaplan has created the “Is English the Language of Love?” Infographic to show the results of the survey. Click the link to discover what else has inspired people to learn English.

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