Should All World Leaders Speak in English?
Language allows people to communicate, learn, and grow which is the fundamental underpinning of society’s progress. In recent years, more people have begun discussing the question of whether all world leaders should speak English. Whether they should speak English or not depends on if there is a need for a common language, and if English is becoming one of the most commonly spoken languages throughout the world.
Many experts believe that there should be one common language that can be used as a method of conversing with people from all countries. It can reduce misunderstandings and help build bridges between cultures. English is the leading worldwide language in such areas as entertainment, science, business, and diplomacy. Approximately 85% of all information in the world is available in English. As well, English is studied as a second language more than any other language of the world. In most careers, speaking English can help one get a promotion, open the door for more opportunities, and earn more money. Governments around the world are providing funding for their citizens to learn English. The reason is not because English is a superior language, but because the language has spread across the globe. For instance, there are more people in China who speak English than in the U.S.A.
Many believe that the proliferation of the English language throughout the world is a result of America’s rise as the central superpower. International relations and business are basically tied to the United States. America is an English speaking country so other countries have recognized the value of speaking English when conversing with Americans. The result has been a surge in people learning the English language. According to a recent report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, “between 96 and 100 percent of people in China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam believe children should learn English.” Many see learning English as an essential tool to success. Chris Gibson, the British Council’s director for South India, “aims to have every South Indian speaking it by 2010, at which point he believes that English will be a codified world language” In 2007, the International Herald Tribune stated that “English is spoken in some form by three times as many non-native speakers as native speakers.” As well, the IHT wrote, “English is a first language for 400 million people, and a fluent second for between 300 and 500 million more.
The trend to learn English suggests that the use of the language will be increasing in the coming years. The Director of Asia for the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that “By 2100, the world will go from a 7,000-language planet to a couple of hundred languages at the most…English will be the major medium of communication in many countries.”
It is projected that half the world’s people will be speaking English by 2015. Many people believe English is on the path to becoming the world’s unofficial language The spread of the English language throughout the world should not only cause world leaders to consider learning the language, but it should also cause the citizens to consider taking advantage of learning English in order keep all opportunities in life available.