English is one of the most commonly spoken languages on the planet.
In fact, it only falls behind Mandarin Chinese and Spanish in terms of the number of native speakers.
Despite being the official language of the United Kingdom, a surprisingly large proportion of the population struggles when it comes to speaking it fluently.
At the time of the 2011 census, more than 726,000 UK residents reported that they could not speak English particularly well, with around 138,000 people claiming they could not speak any English whatsoever.
For adults in the United Kingdom, this lack of fluency is a significant barrier to socio-economic success. Thankfully, learning English as a second language is easier than ever.
The Importance of Learning English
English is not only the official language of the UK, it’s also considered the language of international business.
There are more than 1.35billion English speakers worldwide, with more than 50 countries and territories recognising it as an official language.
Being able to speak English fluently grants individuals the language skills required to succeed in the workplace, while also opening up opportunities further afield.
It’s also worth remembering that a great deal of media content is produced in English.
Many of the biggest blockbusters and most popular television series are produced primarily in English, while literature continues to be dominated by titles written in British or American English.
Likewise, the Internet is steered by English content.
Around a quarter of all Internet users utilise English as their primary language, with more than half of the most-visited websites on the web being chiefly written in the language.
Easy Ways to Improve English Language Skills
Anyone with limited English proficiency will benefit from dedicated language study.
Arguably the best way to start developing and ultimately master English fluency is to enroll at a language school or make use of a tutor.
Established language schools are often seen as the crème de la crème when it comes to boosting linguistic skills, but they’re not an affordable avenue for most people.
Personal tutoring can also prove expensive if you opt for face-to-face learning.
Connecting with language tutors virtually over the internet is a low-cost alternative.
Virtual language sessions are also far more flexible, making them an obvious choice for those with demanding routines.
You can also boost your English skills away from tutoring sessions.
Actively engaging with native speakers in the workplace or larger community will help fine-tune your existing vocabulary, while also introducing you to new words and patterns of speech.
Many language learners struggle when it comes to things like prepositions and phrasal verbs.
Casual conversations are often rich in this kind of language content, so engaging in face-to-face discussions can dramatically improve the understanding of structure and context for non-native speakers.
It’s also essential that non-native speakers immerse themselves in English in day-to-day life.
Listening to the radio or watching television can go a long way in improving language proficiency and understanding.
The English language has a vocabulary of more than 170,000 words, so exposing yourself to a wide range of content from all manner of sources is crucial.
This is a contributed article.