Unlock Your Potential with English

Discover why learning the world’s primary language (whilst getting active!) with Harrow House International College will unlock new opportunities. Did you know that it’s been estimated that over one billion people in the world speak English and 67 countries have it as their official language?

Choosing to study English as a second language is an invaluable way to develop a lifelong skill which can help learners fulfil their ambitions and broaden their horizons in ways they may never have imagined. That’s why we’ve written this eBook - to give you an insight into how the world’s first language can open new doors for a young person.
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A History of the English Language

In this eBook, we look at the history of the English language - and why it holds such relevance in today’s globalised world.Download eBook

Harrow House Blog

Why English Is The Language Of Science 

Over the last few years, the use of the English language in scientific research papers has become more and more prevalent. According to Why English Matters, 98% of scientific articles published today are in English. And this alone is a key reason to why skilled English is so essential when building a career in Science.

English is now considered a global language, with approximately 400 million native speakers. Not only are there this amount of native speakers, but over a million more speak the language as a second or foreign language. It is due to this that English is now considered the language of science.

The Impact of World War Two on Science

English hasn't always been the most common language in science and research. A little over 100 years ago, at the start of the 20th century, the dominant language for science was indeed German. And even before that, Latin.

In the past, it was not uncommon for scientists and researchers to publish their work in both their native language and Latin. This was back in the times when Latin was a globally recognised language. There has historically been a much wider variety surrounding language in science than there is today. Most journals and papers are now solely published in English.

Pri.org credits the decline in the German dominance over science to the events of the first world war. During and after the war there was a boycott of German scientists and research by the British and French.

There was a general anti-German sentiment (not helped by anti-German laws in the US) atmosphere at the time. This pushed the German language out of the scientific community. Even in the years after the laws and boycotts, the German language still didn't reclaim its place. This is mainly down to the fact that there was a new generation of scientists was no longer exposed to German scientific writing. By then English and French had become more common in scientific research.

The growing influence of the US in science also helped strengthen the use of the English Language and push out French. Therefore leaving English as the most used language in scientific research.

The Global Spread of The English Language

Another reason why English as a language is so dominant in science and technology is British colonialism. As the saying goes, 'The sun never sets on the British Empire'. And this was in many ways correct. In the early 1920's, the British Empire had consumed a quarter of the world's total land mass and a fifth of its population. This has made the English language one of the world's most spoken languages

British colonialism is one of the more significant reasons to the spreading of the English language. Especially in the early 20th century. Taking this into account, it is not surprising the English language began to dominate the sciences as well.

So Why Learn English?

Learning the English language is almost essential for anyone considering a career in STEM. In order to have globally recognised work, English is an often deemed a necessity.

Korean researcher Kumju Hwang has said

"The reason that [non-native English-speaking scientists] have to use English, at a cost of extra time and effort, is closely related to their continued efforts to be recognised as having internationally compatible quality and to gain the highest possible reputation."

And he is right. Although it takes a lot more effort, learning English really does pay off. There are an estimated 1.5 billion English speakers in the world today, that could be your potential audience. Publishing scientific research in English will help it become globally recognised.

But English is not only essential for publishing work. Learning English will help you in terms of doing your own academic research. Being able to confidently communicate in English allows you to learn from other researchers. 98% of scientific research papers published online are in English. You would be doing yourself a disadvantage by not learning such a prevalent language in this field.

In order to keep up with fellow scientists and to be able to see your work reach a global audience, English in a must.

For further information about Harrow House International College - or any of our English courses - please visit www.harrowhouse.com.

The Growth of the English Language

Introduction to the English Language

Approximately 500 years ago, between five and seven million people spoke English. The majority of those lived in the British Isles. Now, anywhere up to 1.8 billion people around the world speak English.

There have been different variations of English spoken throughout time, along with a significant change in how the English language has grown over the years. It is now spoken on all five continents of the world.

The different types of English spoken over the centuries began with Old English. It then developed to Middle English, before evolving to Modern English.

English Language Growth

So how exactly has the English Language grown over the years? And how many people speak English today?

Well, in 2006 it was believed that there were around 400 million native speakers of English. Also, there were 400 million speakers of English as a second language. This was emphasised by Professor David Crystal in his book "English Worldwide".

Furthermore, there were around 600 - 700 million people who spoke English as a foreign language. So, that's over one billion people that could communicate in English to some extent.

These figures are from over ten years ago. It can be said that the number of English speakers has grown in the last decade too. Today, there are over 1.8 billion people who are capable of speaking English.

That in itself is significant growth over the course of ten years. It means that English is the most common spoken language in the world. From a total of 195 countries, 67 nations have English as their primary language. Also, 27 countries have English as their secondary language. That's almost half the world that speaks English as their first or second language.

The Influence of the English Language

In your life, you will almost certainly meet someone who can speak English, whether in a professional or educational setting.

That is why your journey to learn English should never stop. It's the beauty of the language. The more fluent you speak it, the more new opportunities will present themselves.

British and American English are the two primary variations of English. But there are many others too. These include Canadian English, Australian English, South African English, Indian English and Caribbean English.

Each of these variations has subtle differences and are influenced by the culture of their respective countries and regions.

The English Language Today

English is the world's most accessible language today. This is due to its significant presence in films, TV, the internet and social media. It’s also true of business, education and science. This is a trend which looks set to continue as we move through the 21st century. As the world becomes more interconnected, the importance of being able to read, write and speak English will only increase.

For further information about Harrow House International College - or any of our English courses - please visit www.harrowhouse.com.

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