CRISTINA MARTÍNEZ SIERRA
“English is critical for countries’ successful participation in the global economy, that it provides individuals with access to crucial knowledge, skills and employment opportunities and enables organisations to create and sustain international links.”
Recently I was in a well-known hotel for a conference. While I was waiting, I overheard a guest ask in English until what time was breakfast served. I was surprised to see that none of the staff members understood the question. After several tries I had to intervene and help with the translation. This experience got me thinking of what an important role the English language plays today: it’s the main source of communication; the way through which we can share our ideas and thoughts with everyone around the world.
The English language has experienced a huge expansion over time. During the time of Shakespeare, English was the native language of only a few million people in the world. It has since expanded to the point where today there are around 600 million people that have it as their mother tongue and a similar number of people use it as a second language.
Developments such as the automobile, airplane, radio, television, radar, computers and Internet along with countless others have enormously helped the growth of this language. All of these inventions were manufactured in the United States and Britain and exported to other non-English speaking countries, showing highly scientific and technological superiority.
This phenomenon resulted in these non-English speaking countries creating their own industries and importing technicians and scientists from developing countries, therefore contributing to the strength and expansion of English through trade, science and technology. The...