English is currently one of the most widely spoken and written languages worldwide, with some 380 million native speakers.
Through the global influence of native English speakers in cinema, music, broadcasting, science, and the Internet in recent decades, English is now the most widely learned second language in the world.
Because a working knowledge of English is required in many fields and occupations, education ministries around the world mandate the teaching of English to at least a basic level.
And there are some other facts about English you might be interested in knowing. In no particular order, here are some of the numbers about English:
Ø English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language.
Ø Over 400 million people use the English vocabulary as a mother tongue, only surpassed in numbers, but not in distribution by speakers of the many varieties of Chinese.
Ø Over 700 million people, speak English, as a foreign language.
Ø Did you know that of all the world’s languages (over 2,700) English is arguably the richest in vocabulary; and that the Oxford English Dictionary lists about 500,000 words, and there are a half-million technical and scientific terms still uncatalogued.
Ø Three-quarters of the world’s mail, telexes and cables are in English.
Ø More than half of the world’s technical and scientific periodicals are in English
Ø English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world’s computers
Ø English is the language of navigation, aviation and of Christianity; it is the ecumenical language of the World Council of Churches
Ø Five of the largest broadcasting companies in the world (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC and CBC) transmit in English, reaching millions and millions of people all over the world.
The main language used throughout the world on the internet is English. The media that make up the Internet are overwhelmingly American in origin, so it is no wonder that the mother tongue of the Web is English. Four factors determine the degree to which a given language finds use on the Internet:
1. The number of users of the language;
2. The extent of its use as an official language;
3. The economic power of the language and ;
4. The volume of information disseminated in that language.
Today, English reigns supreme in all four respects. It is studied as a foreign language throughout the world and employed by a majority of Internet users. Of the 163 member nations of the U.N., more use English as their official language than any other. The easiest way to calculate the economic influence of a language may be to add up the gross domestic products (GDP) of all the nations where it is spoken. People who count English as their mother tongue make up less than 10% of the world's population, but possess over 30% of the world’s economic power. Therefore, in terms of the quantity of transmitted information, English is the leader by far. After English, 26 nations in the U.N. cite French as their official tongue, 21 Spanish and 17 Arabic. Each of these three languages forms a sizable linguistic constituency on the Internet.
Decide which of the following statements are true or false.
T / F
English is one of the most widely spoken languages worldwide, with some 500 million native speakers.
English is now the most widely learned second language in the world.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists about 500,000 words.
Three-quarters of the world’s mail, telexes and cables are in French.
People who count English as their mother tongue make up less than 21% of the world’s population.
English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world’s computers.
Writing options. Try to make a story on the offered topics.
Can you give at least 5 reasons why people learn foreign languages? Why do you think some people don’t want to learn foreign languages?
What do people need to be good language learners?
How do you use the Internet to learn English?
What foreign languages would you like to know? Why?
How do you plan to use the foreign languages you are learning now in your future job?
What do you think changes more with time: grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation?
Which country is the best place to study English?
Do you agree that all the languages are interesting and beautiful in their own way? Why do you think so?
Do you think that English will completely dominate all the other languages in future? If yes, how will it affect the world?
Teacher: Maria please point to America on the map.
Maria: This is it.
Teacher: Well done. Now class, who found America?
Class: Maria did.
A Scotsman who was driving home one night, ran into a car driven by an Englishman. The Scotsman got out of the car to apologize and offered the Englishman a drink of whisky. The Englishman was glad to have it. “Go on,” said the Scot, “have another drink.”
The Englishman drank gratefully. “But don’t you want one, too?” he asked the Scotsman.
”Perhaps,” replied the Scotsman, “after the police have gone.”
Teacher: Tell me a sentence that starts with an “I”.
Student: I is the...
Teacher: Stop! Never put “is” after an “I”. Always put ‘am’ after an “I”. Student: OK. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.
A student, who is studying English as a foreign language, was confused when he saw the words “open here” on a box of laundry soap, so he asks the clerk, “Can’t I wait until I get home to open it?”
In the Media
The mass media play an important part in our lives. Newspapers, radio and especially TV inform us of what is going on in this world and give us wonderful possibilities for education and entertainment. They also influence the way we see the world and shape our views.
Of course, not all newspapers and TV programmes report the events objectively, but serious journalists and TV reporters try to be fair and provide us with reliable information.
It is true that the world today is full of dramatic events and most news seems to be bad news. But people aren't interested in ordinary events. That is why there are so many programmes and articles about natural disasters, plane crashes, wars, murders and robberies. Good news doesn't usually make headlines. Bad news does.
Some people say that journalists are given too much freedom. They often intrude on people's private lives. They follow celebrities and print sensational stories about them which are untrue or half-true. They take photos of them in their most intimate moments. The question is — should this be allowed?
The main source of news for millions of people is television. People like TV news because they can see everything with their own eyes. And that's an important advantage. Seeing, as we know, is believing. Besides, it's much more difficult for politicians to lie in front of the cameras than on the pages of newspapers.
Still, many people prefer the radio. It's good to listen to in the car, or in the open air, or when you do something about the house.
Newspapers don't react to events as quickly as TV, but they usually provide us with extra detail, comment and background information.
The Internet has recently become another important source of information. Its main advantage is that news appears on the screen as soon as things happen in real life and you don't have to wait for news time on TV.