Monthly Archives: August 2008

English as a Global Language

English is a truly global language crossing many international boundaries. In fact, the English language is so popular; it is spoken in more than a hundred countries and has more than a million words. English has an inherent simplicity and flexibility allowing it to be learnt quickly, cementing English as a global language. As a great example, take the case of Indai. Hindi is the most widely spoken language, yet most people correspond in English. India plays host to many English speaking contact centres and 53% of Nigerians also speak English. English, as a global language, is very popular indeed, but why?

English began its development in Great Britain and was spread across the globe through the Commonwealth nations. It became so influential across the Commonwealth that countries adopted English above and beyond their own languages. Back to the case of India; with more than 22,000 languages and dialects it is perhaps clear why English became so popular and unifying. However, Hindi, being the most widely spoken language in India, never became the national language. Linguistic experts point out that the speed and depth with which the English language became so popular globally is unbelievable.

The major reason as to why the English language is so popular is down to its simplicity and flexibility. For example, compare the number of letters in the alphabet, or number of building block characters a language has. English has 26, Mandarin has 45,000. Similarly, but not as extreme, French, German and Hindi also have more characters than English. Further, English is pretty simple to use, with clear grammatical rules governing nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. Because of these simple under-pinning rules, it is also an easy language to teach. In fact, there are English language schools all over the world which could teach you all manner of English accents.

The main feature of the English language that has made is so popular globally, is the language’s adaptability. The English language has taken on words from many other languages and cultures, giving it its great diversity. There are mnay German, Greek, Latin and French words that have been assimilated by the English language – from avatar, bazaar, bungalow to bandanna and cummerbund.

No matter where you are in the world, English is a global language and once you should really consider mastering. By learning English, you can get a better job, have a better career but more importantly, keep up-to-date with world events and developments. Remember too, that 85% of all written material in the world is written in English – as a good a reason as any to learn it.

To find out more about studying English in England, visit Advice For You.

UK Foreign Students can stay an Extra year

Students already in the UK will be able to stay for an extra year – making it two years in total – after they graduate. This is soon to be announced by ministers and will be followed with legislation to clamp down on illegal colleges helping people enter the UK on the pretence of studying.

Since 2003, 1.6 million UK student visas have been issued and are by far the most common UK visa issued. 309,000 foreign students came to the UK in 2006, an increase of 9% from 2005. The number of students being granted full UK work permits after their studies has also doubled in recent years.

Under present UK visa rules, foreign students in the UK are allowed to work for 1 year after they graduate from their studies. The Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, announced that UK foreign students will be allowed to work for 2 years from 2009. Liam Byrne unveiled the plans with Bill Rammell, the Further Education Minister, along with details on how to clamp down on bogus colleges. From 2009, all foreign students coming to the UK will need a certificate of sponsorship from their intended institution of study. When foreign students apply for a visa to come to the UK, Border and Immigration Agency staff will check that the institution is a genuine provider of education, rather than acting as a front to bring people into the UK.

It is no surprise that these steps have been taken due to the value of foreign students in the UK. Foreign students are worth around £8.5 billion a year to the UK economy so letting the brightest and best UK foreign students work for an extra year is great for British business. As can be expected with a move of this type, rule-breakers will face much tougher sanctions. As well as the clampdown on sham colleges, all foreign students in the UK will require a compulsory ID card from November 2008.