My love for languages ties in closely with the way that I picked up English. My first leap into the world of English stemmed from a deep curiosity for discovering the world, literature and my mother’s decision to move with her 10-month-old toddler to the great land down under. The first 7 years of my childhood were spent in the many gateways of the world and THIS is what made me fall in love with not only English but foreign languages as a whole. I can’t think of any other place than airports where you come into contact with every form of language, custom, emotion, culture humanly possible in one single place. From that point on, my kids “playground” was a blend of Latvian folk tales and hot Australian summers. Australia’s multiculturalism opened up a world which I probably never would have.
English became the language of the world which all of these people, like myself, with different backgrounds and stories came to one place to learn ONE language, English, in order to communicate with one another.
Growing up in Adelaide, Australia – English was a necessity. When I was five years old I was placed in the “new arrivals” program at my primary school for foreign pupils whose English wasn’t quite yet at a level to be under the normal curriculum. As an avid talked, over the following few months I naturally went into full-blown English mode. Whilst still speaking Latvian with my mum at home, I began babbling in English about everything I had learned at school, took new readers home every night, watched TV programs and actively engaged with the immersive environment around me.
With my longstanding passion for books, literature and creative writing, I wrote my first stories in English and fell in love with our English lessons at school. It wasn’t always easy and from time to time it frustrated me, that my spelling tests were covered in red crosses but I was resilient and persisted to constantly improve my skills.
Despite being an English native speaker, my journey didn’t start the classic way as for one who grows up in an entirely “native-speaker” environment. I too started from scratch and was challenged throughout my entire schooling career to expand on these skills but I am grateful for that very decision my mother made. Growing up with English has given me countless opportunities throughout the years which would take a few more pages than available to sum up.
It is no secret that English is an absolute necessity in today’s world. As the reader of this post I imagine your English skills are pretty high, but don’t stop there because there is ALWAYS more to learn and the opportunity to take your language skills to the next level.
So why English? English is the primary global language used in cross-cultural communication world-wide. In a business meeting consisting of German, Moroccan, Bulgarian and Japanese CEOs the language they will refer to for communication? English, of course. Anywhere you travel, you can use English to get around without needing to learn the local language of every respective country you visit (of course, make sure you know some basic phrases like hello and thank you– people appreciate it) Learning the language opens up job prospects – increase your standard of living.
Being fluent in a language like English clearly demonstrates a powerful brain and reflects someone who is dedicated and willing to put their resources and time to good use to master another language. It increases your job prospects worldwide and being the language of international business, it is essential for hopes of attending the best universities, conferences and the highest job positions. It gives you wider access to knowledge. With 55% of the world websites being in English – you will be able to educate yourself more efficiently in any material you desire. I know that had I remained in Latvia and grown up,
my overall life experience and access to the material I have had to be able to develop myself as a person would not have even been twice as broad.
So if it’s been a little while since you took the time to engage with the language on a deeper level then take this as an incentive to do so. Continually seek to improve your exposure to the language, regardless if you are an English born native or took up the language less than a year ago. Continually strive to develop your English and understanding of the pop culture behind it – it will benefit you in all walks of life.