The global acceptance of English did not come easy. It is the result of centuries of clever political manoeuvring. First, by the British Empire, who commanded arguably the most massive fleet in the history of humanity and was responsible for colonising much of the entire known planet. Second, by the United States, who rose to power after the two World Wars.
History, however, has been known to repeat itself, and the matter of English reaching its peak and being replaced by another language is no longer just a matter of if, but a matter of when.
After all, one cannot deny that English was “fortunate” as a language. As the British Empire started to lose its power over the entire world, its former colony, North America, rose up to become a leading world power, helping strengthen English’s stranglehold and making sure that it became THE language to learn for the rest of the world.
But, as North America or the United States of America starts to slow down, other nations are only beginning to ramp up. South America, Africa, and more importantly, Asia, or specifically, China, are outpacing the United States regarding economic growth.
This, then, begs the question, is the position of English as the world’s lingua franca – the universal language – being threatened?
English is Here to Stay – For Now
Highly unlikely. While China is slowly becoming a dominant player in the world’s economy, English still has a massive advantage over Mandarin Chinese – the language that’s considered as statistically the most spoken language in the world.
For starters, English is useful, and it’s only going to become even more useful in the future. If you don’t know English, you can’t be in with the “cool” kids, and with how connected the entire world is right now thanks to the advent of the internet and social media, learning English has become a priority even for kids if only for entertainment purposes.
No other language in the world comes close to the reach and influence of English.
The usefulness of English cannot just be overstated either. Case in point, potential income increases substantially only by knowing English. Even in technology, programming languages are written in English, including those that are created by Non-English-speaking nationalities.
If anything, the extent of how prevalent English is in our daily lives is only going to increase in the years to come. Besides, it’s foolish to try to think of predicting the future of English, or of any language for that matter, when the majority of the people who are reading this article right now won’t be alive anymore.
So, to answer the question, yes, English lessons for children are here to stay. The younger, the better. Parents who want to put their children in the best position to succeed will be wise to enrol their children in extra-curricular classes to learn how to read, write, and speak in English at a level that makes them globally competitive.