Although learning English can be challenging and time-consuming, it is also very valuable to learn and can create many opportunities.
With spring almost upon us, students around the world will be preparing themselves to start courses at British schools and universities in September. Many will already be preparing to study in the UK, whether that be preparing for admissions tests and interviews, taking extra tuition in academic subjects, writing personal statements and submitting UCAS applications for higher education courses or choosing guardianship and insurance to support them when they arrive in the UK.
Quite often the need to enhance English language skills is overlooked by students or not emphasised enough in study plans which are designed to prepare them to study in the U.K. Once the all-important offer of place is received, many students almost audibly sigh in a relief and begin to take their foot off the gas, no longer driven by the need to impress schools and universities with their academic success, motivation and commitment to study. Aside from the fact that schools and universities will be looking at your progress right up until you begin your course, a change in study habits, routines and frequency will inevitably have a negative affect when you begin your new course in the UK.
Rather than basking in the security of an offer of place to study in the UK, students should increase their focus on preparing for a new education system, a new style of teaching and learning, a wholly English medium learning environment and instead give themselves a head start.
Why is English language so important?
Believe it or not, English is the official language of fifty three countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, Singapore, South Africa and the UK, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is also spoken as a first language by approximately 400 million people across the globe. Becoming fluent in English will automatically increase the volume of people you can communicate with, develop friendships and future business relationships with.
English has long been considered a global language, with more and more multinational companies recruiting those with strong English language proficiency. Nowadays, for many global companies, the ability to speak English is mandatory if they are to even consider interviewing you. The reason for this is simple, international companies need a common language in which all employees can communicate. Just imagine if all of the senior management staff within a global international organisation had a meeting and none of them could speak the same language. They wouldn’t be able to understand one another, they wouldn’t be able to communicate ideas, needs or even get to know one another; it would be extremely difficult to get anything done. A universal form of communication (currently English) removes language as a barrier and allows everyone to communicate on even ground.
Let’s take a little step back from the career perspective; whether you are looking to live, work or study in an English-speaking country, you will most likely need to take an English language test, such as Oxford English, IELTS, CAT4 and UKiset, to name but a few, which will assess your level of proficiency in Engl