“English is a passport to explore the world!” – English language learner, United Arab Emirates.
People around the world are eager to learn English for many reasons, including improved economic opportunities, expanded access to information on the internet, and the opportunity to join a global community of learners. The U.S. Department of State has made providing opportunities to learn English and engage virtually with other learners a priority. Through our American English Facebook page, our audience around the world is able to improve their English skills, explore different cultures, share ideas, and exchange views -- all without needing a passport.
Recently, we asked our almost 1,000,000 followers, “Why is English important to you?” They overwhelmed us with the number of responses. Here are the top five reasons from our followers:
#5: “I speak English with people from different countries, continents, cultures, and religions.” –Argentina
The American English Facebook page has built a virtual community with people from all over the world where diversity and differing perspectives are accepted.
#4: “I’ve dramatically expanded my perspectives.” –Brazil
“English will take us to new horizons of knowledge, awareness, peace, and friendship.” –Iran
The American English Facebook page is a space where people break down barriers, create new relationships, and share ideas across the globe.
#3 “English makes me more confident.” –Vietnam
English empowers learners. Our community encourages followers to challenge themselves and then celebrates their successes.
#2: “I am thankful for English because it helps me a lot in my career.” –Brazil
Many of our learners understand that learning English is key to getting ahead in a global economy. English is also the language of technology, science and academia.
#1: “English brings us together to a world of unity and peace…Everybody is somebody with value and rights.” –Madagascar
English enables our followers to learn about different cultures, viewpoints, and histories.
The American English Facebook page gives students access to English language materials and promotes a learning community that opens doors and bridges nations. Together through English, our Facebook followers are helping to shape their own lives, their communities, and the world. Our nearly one million followers are the reasons English is important to us. Why is English important to you? Will you be our one-millionth fan?
About the Author: Kerri Hannan serves as Director of the Office of English Language Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). For more information about ECA programs, follow @ECAatState on Twitter.