Whether you’re an English learner or an English teacher, you are sure to have asked yourself at one point or another: What is the point of it all? Why does speaking English even matter anyway?! Roland Sebestyén gives his personal view.
It’s fair to say that in the 21st century, there is a huge demand for people capable of speaking English. No matter what you do, you can’t avoid it. Sooner or later, almost everybody will need to use English in one way or another. Travelling abroad without knowing a couple of general phrases, for instance, could result in some tricky situations. Trust me, getting lost in unfamiliar territories is no picnic. Yeah, sure, most cellphones have GPS and Google Maps, so frankly it is rather hard to stray off the beaten track these days. But still, have you ever heard of roaming or cell phones signals suddenly going wrong? I bet you have! For your own welfare, it’s essential to have the ability to make conversation, even if you’re only capable of sharing basic knowledge.
WIDEN YOUR WORLD
Just to answer the question: the best thing about speaking English is the ability to widen your world. If you speak the world’s most common language, you can travel, work, study or even live nearly anywhere you want. A reasonable level of English is also key if you want to get in touch with different people and get to know different cultures. This could ultimately lead to a positive effect on your character and life. People from different countries and cultures can provide you with a range of different points of views. Understanding a particular event from multiple aspects can also make you more valuable on the market. Think about it: the more people you are connected to, the more opportunities and doors might open up in the future.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
It’s never too late to take the first step. However, it is better to act quickly and start learning and get familiar with the language as soon as possible. To speak at a high level, you have to have a large vocabulary and a good basic level of grammar. Even though native speakers are usually polite and won’t stop non-natives to correct mistakes every time, a willingness to improve has to be your priority.
There are a lot of methods out there to learn the language well. Of course, you can benefit from watching movies with English subtitles, but it isn’t enough. Reading is also crucial: novels, biographies and articles all help. It will take time, but after all, to reach a high level requires hard work and dedication. I tell you what: in the end, I promise you, it’s worth the sacrifice. You only get out what you put in… Think about those doors, and let’s make it happen!