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Why learn English?

Why learn English?

Thursday 5th April 2018

Everyone knows that being able to speak English opens up all kinds of opportunities, for instance it will give you a better chance of getting into some of the best universities, it will improve your job prospects, it might help you make friends more quickly on your next holiday or it could mean you are able to enjoy more films, music and popular culture in general!
However, if you're reading this you've probably already been told all that by your teachers or parents, so are there any other good reasons for learning English? And what's the best way of doing it?
It's true that English is an official language in over 60 countries and is also spoken really well by a lot of people in so many more, for example most people in Scandinavia practically speak English like a native! English is also the official language in certain situations, such as for airline pilots or at major sporting events like the Olympic Games. So, while there are a lot more native speakers of Mandarin Chinese, wherever you are in the world an English-speaker is never far away!
Apart from its popularity, English has a simple alphabet, which helps a lot. Ok, we have to admit that English spelling is an absolute mess, why the words "seem" and "seam" or the ends of the words "through" and "true" have exactly the same pronunciation is a complete mystery to me... but at least in English there are no complex symbols or characters to remember, just 26 letters which to create all the words you'll need.
Speaking of words, there are tons and tons and tons of them. This is partly because English has borrowed from lots of other languages over the years, stockpiling handy expressions and words, many of which are really common in every day language. For instance, if you're talking about "robots" you're using a word borrowed from Czech, "zero" comes from Arabic and "café" of course comes from French. In fact, it would be practically impossible to speak English without using borrowed words, especially if you like eating "pasta", "chocolate" or "croissants" that you might have bought from a "macho" guy at a "delicatessen" after you took your little sister to "kindergarten" or went to a "karate", "salsa" or "sport" class... See what I mean?
So, English is probably much more international than you thought, in fact we could probably call it "Globish" as it belongs to everyone. But if you're worried that this means you need to learn more, don't be, because even though there are approximately 200,000 English words in common use over 90% of English text is made up of just 1000 words! And the amazing facts about English don't stop there, for example did you know that...
A new word is added to the English dictionary every 2 hours
Shakespeare invented over 1700 new words
Over 80% of the information stored on the world's computers is in English
All of which means that in addition to offering numerous opportunities, English is a super international, living and also approachable language. This makes an international summer school the perfect place to study it, where you'll be surrounded by students from all over the world, you can visit famous UK destinations, learn about English culture and also the countries and cultures of your new friends!