The importance of English language in China.

Updated 2014-02-20 12:20

Languages are a fascinating subject, particularly when it concerns the amount of speakers. Currently, the English language is the second most spoken language in the world next to Mandarin with over 1 billion speakers, both natively and as another learned language. The prevalence for English has been growing exponentially over time, and its influence has been felt all over the world, particularly in countries with a strong international presence, such as China. In China, the English language has become increasingly significant for a variety of reasons, though none so prevalent as the need for internationalism.

English has been described as 'the language of competition' thanks to its increased usage in international business transactions and its increased popularity in the business world at large. This caused the Chinese government to take notice, which led to them swiftly realising the potential for the language and the growing part it plays in international communications. It wasn't long before businesses were hiring more and more people with English skills, and over the next few years it's set to become a mandatory qualification. Potential employees under the age of 40 must be conversant in at least 1000 English phrases in order to seek work. It's a big change, but this is the government's intention and so necessary adjustments need to be made in order to facilitate this.

As you might imagine, this renewed focus on languages and these new requirements in the world of business has also resulted in opportunities for growth within the country's educational system. Over time, English has gone on to become a core component in teaching programmes across the country, with the government introducing new teaching methods for learning languages and the development of English textbooks. In China, international schools have an especially good reputation for comprehensive language programmes. International schools centre their focus on the celebration of diversity and difference, meaning that languages are given equal respect and have well-developed curriculums for the subject. For families raising their children in China, it's crucial to ensure that your children are receiving a good education in the English language. Not only will this give them the necessary skills to enter higher education, but it will also give them a great advantage in their working life. Nowadays, education in the English language begins from as early as Kindergarten, when children are at the height of their potential to acquire the skill.

The English language has become so important in China because the country wants to successfully promote internationalism and keep the lines of communication open for trade and business matters. As one of the global powers, it's in the country's best interest to keep afloat of shifting trends in international matters. The government has recognised that English in now the preferred language used for international purposes and is becoming an increasingly necessary skill for its people to have. Children in China now need to have a good grasp of the language in order to succeed in life, but thankfully the programmes are in place to ensure that this happens.

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