Many people think that it is not important to learn any foreign language,but who speaks another language can be able to broaden his knowledge. In Saudi Arabia students in government schools start learning English in the sixth grade and it is not concentrated learning because of the limitation of the classes and the books is not well developed.
English is an international language that most people are using it. The well developed countries such as United States of America, Britain, Canada and Australia speak English as their first language.” Over 300 million people speak English as their first language. Estimates about second speakers of English vary greatly between 150 million and 1.5 billion”¹. As a result, English let people from different countries communicate with each other. Moreover, it is an old language. It was spoken in the 5th century (Daniel M .Short, 2003).
English is today’s language, in particular it is the language of computer and everybody knows computer’s importance those days. Furthermore, it is the main language for many subjects such as medicine. In Saudi Arabia medicine is taught in English and that makes it easy for students to complete their higher education in foreign countries similar to U.S.A, Canada or Britain. But some Arabic countries such as Syria teach medicine in Arabic then the students find it difficult to complete their higher education in foreign countries. For that reason, the country will not improve in medicine. In addition, some high school students prefer to complete their study after they graduate outside to get a good job in the future and to get more knowledge but the obstacle that they meet is the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
They maybe waste over one year to get an accepted grade to pass the TOEFL because they didn’t learn concentrated English. .” Some studies have found that students who learn foreign languages score statistically higher on standardized college entrance exams than those who do not”² and that really happen in Prince Sultan University in Saudi Arabia. There are big differences in scores between the girls who speak good English and the girls who do not.
In world of business, English is used as the main language of communication between different countries and international congresses. Nowadays, any company or bank prefers to employ people with English language capability. In addition, banks use English at least in international money transfer.” Ultimately, knowing a second language can also give people a competitive advantage in the work force by opening up additional job opportunities (Villano, 1996)”³. In travel English also used in booking such as in hotels or in airways.
There are many products and newspapers use English as their main language. For instance, Microsoft and Macintosh software use English in their programs as the main language. Besides, the most popular newspaper sites areThe Times, the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, and Washington Post. In addition, English movies, English programs and English series are the most famous in the world.
In conclusion, it is very important to learn a second language especially English. It gives many benefits such as in social or in business. And that doesn’t mean that Arabic is not important. Arabic is the language of the holy Quraan and every Muslim must know it. There is a saying says ‘what is learnt young is hard to lose’. As a result, learning English in Saudi Arabia must begin from kinder garden and must be focused on it.
1-www.encyclopedia.com2-Kathleen M.Marcos www.newbeginnings.co.nz3-Kathleen M.Marcos www.newbeginnings.co.nz
If you plan on making your way in the world, learning a second language is imperative. English has a foothold as the “language of business,” and being so, has become the most commonly learnt second language amongst foreign language speakers. Not only is English significant in the business world, but in general, when people of differing native languages congregate, English is the language of everyday conversation. Again, this is because it’s most commonly taught in foreign schools, as English is the collective language spoken by 1.8 billion people worldwide, or 27% of the world’s population. By virtue of this, for those willing to make the effort, learning English proffers forth benefits that learning any other second language mightn’t. Highlighted below are some of these benefits, including employment opportunities; technical, economic and scientific innovation; and cultural understanding.
As the language of business, English will open up the world to you in nearly any field of employment. Because it’s so important to be bilingual, any company in any country of the world prefers a bilingual employee – and even more so, an English-speaking one – over an employee who speaks only his/her native tongue. In being bilingual in English, you will be able to communicate with others in all corners of the world (remember, over 27% of the world’s population speaks English), and you will be able to translate for those in your company who do not speak English. This makes you an exceedingly vital communication tool. Not only will you be an asset to your company, but you will reap many benefits as a result, such as a larger annual income, a better standard of living, and the opportunity to live just about anywhere in the world.
Along with being the language of business, English is the language of economic development, as well as technical and scientific innovation. The United States is the leader in technical innovation and economic development and, as a consequence, the language to know in making your way in these fields is English. English is also the language of science, so scientists must be fluent in order to communicate their findings with others. Being successful in any one of these prosperous fields requires fluency in English.
Lastly a great benefit to learning English is that it increases cultural understanding, not only of native English-speaking cultures, but of any other country whose second language is English. The film and music industries are largely English-driven. The art, traditions and culture of any country, especially those of native English-speaking countries, can be better understood if you have some knowledge of the English language. Being centuries-old and having been the native language of empirical powers and world leaders, English remains a great source of influence in human history, weaved into the narrative of many cultures, and sewn, like a cultural seed, throughout time.
If you endeavor to learn a second language, that language should be English. The benefits it proffers – including employment opportunities; technical, economic and scientific innovation; and cultural understanding – are exceeded by no other language in the world.