Language is the basis of communication in most modern-day societies. Though there are certainly other ways to communicate such as with body language, facial expressions and gestures, speaking a common language is by far the most efficient way to talk with another human being.
Some of these languages are more widely spoken and beneficial than others in terms of being able to communicate with more people and in more situations. One of these languages is English. Those who are proficient in English recognize the benefits, and those who recognize the benefits usually are willing to learn the language if they don't already speak it.
The Benefit of Speaking English in General
English is the _lingua franc_a or "common language" of the world. Over 80 percent of the world's English speakers are non-native speakers, and there are 1.5 billion English speakers in the world overall. Additionally, there are 67 countries that have English as an official language and 27 countries that have English as the official second language.
With this information in mind, it's easy to see the benefit of speaking English in general. If you speak English or even if you understand a little bit of it, you will be able to communicate in a variety of different circumstances, whether it be in a university, your career, travel or even when using the internet.
Speaking English for School
Many students across the world will learn English as a second language in school. This is so that these students can have more opportunities as they grow older, as one of the major benefits of English is that it opens up more doors for people who speak the language.
Students who learn English can study in universities not only in their own countries – where English is used often in academia even if it's not the country's official language – but also in English-speaking countries, some of which are home to universities that are considered the best in the world.
In order to study at a school where English is the primary language, students need to be able to prove their knowledge of the language by taking tests like the TOEFL exam. Those who aren't proficient in English would have a hard time passing the test and getting admittance to the college of their choice. Also, since having a degree from one of these schools can offer more job opportunities to the degree holder, not knowing English isn't an option for people with big aspirations.
Speaking English for Work
The world is now more globalized than ever thanks to the internet's ability to connect countries and people. This means that a person who comes from one country can seek work in another country where English is the primary language, and that may offer better pay or benefits than their own. Knowing English can give people this opportunity to work abroad and have a better lifestyle than they might have had in their home country had they not spoken English.
Knowing English can also give people from other countries the ability to work online. Many companies are looking to outsource some jobs to freelancers who have mastered English in countries where labor is generally cheaper. While the work is cheaper for the employer, the person being hired can use his skills to earn what's still a better salary along with having the freedom to work online.
Speaking English for Travel
Another advantage of English speaking is being able to use it for travel. Because English is the common language spoken around the world, knowing the language can help you communicate when you travel abroad, especially if you do not speak the language of the country to which you're traveling, and they also do not speak your native language.
For instance, if a person from China travels to Spain, she might not know Spanish, and vendors in Spain probably won't know Chinese. However, if both parties speak a little English, then they can communicate. Simple things like paying for a room at a hotel, ordering a meal at a restaurant or asking for directions is a lot easier when traveling if you can speak English. Also, most things like signs, ticketing machines and maps have English written on them too.