By : Prapanna Lahiri
A language is a systematic means to communicate ideas, moods, feelings and attitudes using sounds, gestures, signs or marks. A language can be written (using signs or marks). It can also be spoken (using voice, sounds and gestures). Hence, language is the way to connect with large number people. In search of a means to connect to as many people around the world as possible, especially in this era of globalisation, English language came in handy to accomplish this purpose. In a way it has helped unite the world in universal brotherhood.
Historically, when the King James Version (KJV) or the Authorised Version (AV) of the Bible was published in 1611, the educated English of London formed the core of what is now called Standard English. By the time of the American Declaration of Independence in 1776, English had become international and recognisable as the language we use today.
Present-day English is an immensely varied language, having absorbed material from many other tongues. It is spoken by more than 300 million native speakers and between 400 and 800 million foreign users. It is the official language of air transport and shipping; the leading language of science, technology, computers, and commerce; and a major medium of education, publishing, international negotiation and diplomacy.
English language is today one tool to establish our viewpoint, propagate various ideas among the international audience and to learn from others’ experience. Over centuries the role of English is most evident in the field of education. It has attracted people because of the wealth of literature and knowledge enshrined in it. Undoubtedly, English is the language of learning. Most of the world’s books are written in English. Most research papers are published in English. It is difficult to think of studying science without learning English. Globally, careers in science and technology, business and commerce require a good knowledge of English. The internet has transformed our lives and it would be funny to imagine an internet without English. The syntax of most of the computer programming languages is also made up of English keywords.
One knows that English-speaking persons can be traced in all the continents of the world and is the reason for its importance in the compulsory education of many countries across the globe. Acknowledging the importance of English for life, we also know when to begin learning it. English has several advantages when it has been taught from the grass root level. For non-native speakers of the language elementary school age is a brilliant time to learn a second language. Researches conducted has shown that 6-13 years of age is the right age to learn a second language besides the mother language, as the brain condition is just right to receive something new. English is important to be learned if one wants to be a knowledgeable person. Having ability in English also helps the students to study because what he or she learns is not limited to one country but becomes a window to the world.