English as a global language

The English language is now the first language of about 400 million people, the native language of 12 nations & the official or semiofficial language of 33 more nations. That means one in every seven people in the world speaks English. The English language has become the “new Latin” of the century, the world’s top tongue. One billion people speak English. That’s 20% of the world population. For the other 600 million it’s either a second language or a foreign language. There are more than 500 000 worlds in the Oxford English Dictionary. Compare that with the vocabulary of German (about 200 000) & French (about 100 000). At present no other language on Earth is better suited to play the role of a world language.

English is so widespread nowadays because it has become the standard language for all kinds of international communication: 80% of all information in the world’s computer is in English; nearly 50% of all the companies in Europe communicate with one another in English; 75% of all international letters & telexes are in English. English is also the international language of business people, pilots, diplomats & politicians, sportsmen & scientists, doctors & students, musicians & singers. Obviously English is going to become even more important as a global language, dominating world trade, computers & media.

Not so long ago learning English was not much fun. You only had to read boring texts, translate them from English into Russian & back & learn lists of words by heart. Today learning English has become much more exciting. Students can enjoy any kind of pronunciation & various accents listening to the cassettes & CDs read by native speakers. Watching video & DVD films allows students to see authentic movies with or without subtitles. You can use the computer not only for playing games but also for acquiring knowledge. Teaching CDs will help you to learn new words & grammar. The Internet is a boundless world of learning opportunities. There are a lot of sites providing different activities, students’ cafes & chats. You can ask any questions to the world’s top teachers & you will get your answers in a second. And finally if you can afford it, go abroad & learn English with native speakers in an English-speaking country.

I. Complete the sentences.

1. That means…

2. At present no other language on Earth…

3. English has become…

4. English is also the international language of…

5. Not so long ago…

6. You can use the computer…

II. Answer the questions.

1. Is English a popular language nowadays?

2. Why is English better suited to play the role of a world language?

3. Why is English so widespread nowadays?

4. What ways of learning English do you prefer?

III. Retell the text.


Internet is a network connecting many computer networks & based on a common addressing system & communications protocol.

The Internet has its origin in the US Department of Defence program called

Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. The program was created in order to provide a communications network for organizations dealing with defence research.

From its creation in 1983 the Internet has been growing into increasingly popular mass media. Nowadays it connects millions of computers throughout the world. The sphere of its usage has also been extended by the connecting of many other computer networks & the communications services. The original uses of the Internet were electronic mail (commonly called “E-mail”), file transfer, using file transfer protocol, newsgroups & remote computer access (telnet).

By 1990 the World-Wide Web, which enables simple navigation of the Internet sites through a graphical interface, had also extended greatly & became the most important component of the Internet.

The Internet connected millions of computers throughout the world. Many commercial computer network & data services also provided at least indirect connection to the Internet. Amateur radio, cable television wires, spread-spectrum radio, satellite & fibre optics all have been used to deliver Internet services. Networked games, networked monetary transactions & virtual museums are among applications being developed that both extend the network`s utility & test the limits of its technology.