It is already known that learning English as a second language is something that opens all kinds of positive doors around the world: better jobs, study opportunities, greater cultural exchanges?
It is by far the most spoken second language on the planet with 1080 million people. But so great is the preference that Mandarin Chinese, with 200 million speakers, is a distant second.
In any case, there are many more reasons why English is at the top of the options when it comes to learning a language.
Before Queen Victoria of England became the most powerful and territorially controlled sovereign in the world, people always chose French as a second language.
But the commercial impact of the United Kingdom in the Victorian era changed everything: people realized that the opportunities to earn more money were in English, and the proof was in the commercial dominance of the British fleet.
However, that boom driven by Victoria of England was not enough, because the world was divided between those who sought money by learning English, and culture by acquiring French…
Then came the 20th century and the United States became the world’s strongest new empire. The American way of life became an economic chimera for nations, and then preferences shifted almost entirely to English as a second language.
Learning English as a second language in the digital age
In the 21st century, the English It is no longer seen even as a way to get in touch with the economies of the United Kingdom and the United States; it has become the new lingua franca or universal language, that is, one that is used in almost all countries to communicate in multicultural environments.
Suddenly it became common for a person from Hong Kong to use English to communicate with a person from Colombia, thus eliminating any limitation between Chinese and Spanish.
Thus, English became an essential part of globalization and communicated to a planet hungry for commerce.
English as the new language of science
When Carl Von Linné published his taxonomy, that is: the classification of living beings, and gave scientific names to plants and animals, he did so in Latin.
In fact, scientific names are still given in Latin. But science did not remain with this language that had been used since the time of the Roman Empire, but also ended up sending it to English.
Today all the important scientific papers are published in English, all the studies, all the theories… So much so, that the conferences of the first scientific level are dictated in English even though -in many cases- all those present speak the same language.
And it is for all these reasons that English is and will continue to be the first language people choose as a second language.