Billions of people from all over the world aspire to speak English fluently, but we can’t help but wonder, is this quest only motivated by self-improvement and the need to learn a new language? Although this is a strong motivator for many people; professionals in today’s global job market are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of English proficiency in the corporate world. Additionally, countless employees, and employers in particular, believe that being proficient in English is a necessity in today’s economy. According to the World Economic Forum, there is a strong relationship between the English language skills of a population and the economic performance of their country. There is also a direct correlation between the ease of conducting business locally and internationally in a country and the extent of English language proficiency there.
The latest edition of the EF English Proficiency Index (EPI), the English Language Proficiency Index, found that for economies around the world, higher English language proficiency is associated with higher gross domestic product, higher net income, and higher productivity. On an individual level, recruiters and HR managers across the world report that job seekers with excellent English relative to their country’s English proficiency level earn 30-50% higher salaries. Not only does English proficiency have an impact on one’s income, but it has a major effect on their quality of life as well. Additionally, a direct correlation was found between English language proficiency and the human development index in countries, which is a measure of education, life expectancy, literacy and quality of life. Therefore, we can now see that many countries around the world have begun to invest more in enhancing English language skills to increase proficiency, and this in turn highlights the role that English can play in broader schemes of economic growth. For example, a country like India fully understands the need for its people to be proficient in the English language if they want to succeed in commerce and business. Other countries follow the same approach to improve their economic advancement and their visibility on a global level.
To improve the economic situation in developing countries, several factors should be taken into consideration. One of the most important factors is building a solid base of manpower capable of providing services at local and international levels. We focus here on the international level because that means greater opportunities, larger commercial projects, more investments, and thus a better economic situation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to pay more attention to the quality of education, for both children and adults. One of the factors in education that leads to the greatest benefit from international business opportunities and the development of the service industry is at least a very good level of English proficiency. Studies indicate that there is a direct relationship between the level of human capital development of a country and the proficiency of the English language.
In today’s world, services have a growing share in the global economy. However, exporting services is more difficult than exporting commodities. Any commodity can be shipped from anywhere to any part of the world, but attracting talent is much more difficult. Additionally, having competent talent that are able to offer their services globally is also not easy, so for a country to have an increasing share in the economy, its citizens must be able to provide services and communicate across the extremely challenging global market. The official language of communication in the business world is English. Therefore, and taking all these factors into consideration, the importance of mastering the English language for the country’s workforce in order to improve the economy, increase exports of state services, and increase the country’s competitiveness externally is extremely high.
Finally, individuals, entrepreneurs or countries that pay attention to improving English skills will have the benefit of entering the global market more smoothly and more robustly. A company with a workforce that is proficient in English actually has a competitive advantage over other companies whose employees are not fluent in English. If you are currently running a business, you should be aware of this fact, and should know exactly the current stage or level of your workforce’s English proficiency levels, and the level you aspire to reach, which will lead to improving internal and external communication, increasing your business’s competitiveness both locally and globally, the ability to attract greater talents and expertise, and other incredible results. All individuals, students, employees and business owners should be aware that in this fast-paced and ever-evolving world and market, being proficient in English is not just a luxury or an added advantage, but rather an indispensable component for success.