Learning English at school is often seen as more important than learning local languages. If these are not taught, many are at risk of dying out.
In your opinion, is it important for everyone to learn English? Should we try to ensure the survival of local languages and, if so, how?
English is the language of opportunity. It opens more doors than any other language. So, English is widely taught at schools all over the world. Sometimes this happens at the expense of local languages. In my opinion, teaching English at schools is important; however, communities also need to ensure that their own languages aren’t dying out.
The biggest advantage of learning English is that it is a universal language. People all over the world use it to communicate with others. The internet has made English even more important because much of the information on it is in the English language. Globalization is another factor driving the popularity of English. Companies have offices all over the world and they are looking for people who can converse in English.
However, just because English improves your career prospects, it doesn’t mean that your own languages are not important for you. A language is much more than a medium of expression. It is the mother of culture and civilization. When a language dies the culture associated with that language will also die. Because of this reason, nations must never allow their local languages to perish. They can achieve this by simply instilling national pride in their people.
It is perfectly possible to learn and teach English without neglecting one’s own languages. Take, for instance, the case of India. Hundreds of languages are spoken here. While English is widely taught as a second language and given too much importance, native Indian languages are also thriving because Indians learn English with the sole purpose of improving their career prospects. They are not learning it to become anglicized. In India, English is only used for official communications and every other type of communication happens in native languages. This allows Indians to stay true to their culture and at the same time find exciting job opportunities in the English speaking world.
To conclude, there are several benefits to learning English and hence I strongly recommend that it should be taught at school. However, governments and communities need to take measures to ensure that their own languages are not being neglected.
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