For centuries, many people in English-speaking nations have used a common idiom:
“We speak the same language.”
As a statement of commonality, the phrase sums up the importance of literally (and figuratively) speaking a shared language in order to establish meaningful relationships.
After all, relationships are essential in all areas of life.
Make no mistake: your efforts to learn and master English deserve respect. Wherever you are in the journey, know that every hour you dedicate to improving your skills will get you nearer to your goals and closer to feeling truly at home in the United States.
If you’re frustrated, discouraged, or frankly exhausted by the learning process, you’re not alone. There are over 1.5 billion people learning English around the world right now.
Some are only at the beginning of the journey, and others are almost able to speak fluently. But wherever they are, there are thousands of people who share your current level of proficiency.
It’s not about learning “perfect” English. It’s simply about getting a little better than you were the day before.
Why? Because the benefits of getting comfortable with English are almost too powerful to overlook.
Here are three great reasons to keep learning English:
1. You’ll Unlock Job Opportunities (And Make More Money)
Money talks, and countless multinational corporations now require their employees to speak English, from France to Japan and beyond.
That’s certainly a contributing factor behind English becoming the #1 non-native language around the world. In our increasingly global (and now remote) economy, the ability to speak English empowers individuals to work for practically anyone, anywhere.
So if the language barrier is blocking you financially, remind yourself that learning English and growing your income are closely intertwined.
In fact, recent studies found that immigrants who enrolled in an English language course for two or more years earned $7,100 more annually than those who did not.
Here’s something even better: while hourly wages are over 34% higher for workers who speak fluent English, they’re 13% higher for workers who speak slightly more English than their foreign peers.
In other words, while earnings potential skyrockets for fluent speakers, it’s still markedly higher for immigrants who know just a little more than average.
The point is this: don’t worry about becoming “perfect.” Just keep getting better.
2. You’ll Enrich Your Social Life (And Build More Confidence)
You’re working to become bilingual (or beyond). Your home culture is a part of your heart and history, and no one can ever take that from you.
Now, you’re tasked with expanding upon that wonderful foundation.
By learning English, you’ll then be able to more fully enjoy American culture. The immediate benefits are obvious: you’ll be able to do things like go to the movies, attend music festivals, visit museums, read classic English novels, and watch American TV shows without subtitles.
But that’s only the beginning.
While increasing your enjoyment of the culture, you’ll also enrich your social life.
How? For one thing, because there will be nothing standing between you and the world around you. The language barrier is the last major hurdle to overcome as you broaden your vocabulary, clarify your communication, and strengthen your ability to relate to your peers.
When you’re able to speak English, you can go anywhere and meet anyone. Nothing is off-limits.
Plus, as we discussed above, you’ll have gained more confidence from your increased economic prospects. Indeed, recent studies affirm that the more money you earn, “the more likely you feel emotions such as pride and confidence.”
And with enhanced self-belief, you’ll have greater enthusiasm in pursuing new friendships and relationships. You’ll be able to expand upon your cultural roots and truly make America your home.
Here’s the paradox: having self-confidence in your ability to learn English quite literally translates to learning the language faster.
It’s true! A recent study found that “self-confidence has a significant correlation with speech achievement.”
In other words, when it comes to learning English, confidence begets confidence. The more you believe in your abilities to learn English, the more quickly you’ll actually accomplish it.
3. You’ll Gain Increased Access to Information (And Education)
Nearly 60% of all internet websites are written in English.
It’s clear that we live in a digital age where all of the world’s relevant information is online. The stronger your English skills, the greater your access to that information. It’s often said that “knowledge is power,” and in the 21st century, the internet truly is the gateway to such knowledge.
In the modern world, that means you’ll have immediate access to job opportunities, social networks, news outlets, medical information, and financial/banking information.
By speaking English, you’ll be on the cutting edge of current events and technological innovations.
And lest we forget, all languages are evolving. In fact, English dictionaries add hundreds and even thousands of new words each year. Therefore, by better understanding English, you’ll be able to stay current and constantly adapt to new cultural expressions.
Finally, English also increases your access to higher education opportunities. To be sure, English is regarded as the standard language of modern colleges in both America and the United Kingdom. That’s certainly true at institutions like Oxford and Harvard University.
If you intend to apply to college or pursue a graduate or doctoral degree, you’ll be able to more confidently pass the English fluency tests issued during the admissions process.
It’s clear that English provides multiple pathways to increased knowledge.
Learning English isn’t easy, but if you can stay patient with the process, you’ll reap benefits that last a lifetime.
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