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Why do you need to learn English?

Amir Muhammad Harbo

It has been estimated that English is a second language for well over 300 million people: the number of second-language speakers may soon exceed the number of native speakers, if it has not done so already.

English is generally acknowledged to be the world's most important language. There are, after all, thousands of different languages in the world, and each will seem uniquely important to those who speak it as their native language, the language they acquired at their mother's knee. I value mine, Hausa language for instance.

I am not talking about the importance of English on the grounds of its quality as a language (the size of its vocabulary, the alleged flexibility of its syntax, etc.).
Nevertheless, it is obvious that there are some objective standards of relative importance.
Some of them are:

A number one standard is the number of speakers of the language: Now a day, English has been a vast language that covers every spaces of our day-to-day activities. I felt ashamed when some so-called potentially coppers cannot speak with it for a minute. How do they passed the universities?  Therefore, the number of the speakers using it is telling you to learn the language properly. (If possible, start it by now).

A second is the extent to which the language is geographically dispersed: In how many continents and countries is it used or is a knowledge of it necessary? Almost sixty percent. Don’t you travel? You need to learn it appropriately.

A third is its functional load: How extensive is the range of purposes for which it is used? In particular, to what extent is it the medium for highly valued cultural manifestations such as a science or a literature? It is a fact that  now aday you cannot be treated if you are sick without using single English word. How do you expect the physicians read all those scientific books and treated you? Most of them were written in English.

A fourth is the economic and political influence of the native speakers of the language. No need of much explanation here. It has self-explanation.

Now,  in about seventy percent countries in Africa English has been legally designated as an official language. In Nigeria for instance, it is the sole official language, and in some fifteen others (such as India) it shares that status with one or more other languages.

Therefore, we must learn how to use it whether spoken or written form.

Ameer Muhammad Harbo

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