Reason for learning English?

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moov18

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I’ve learned English for many years. Yesterday one of my friends asked me, “Have you ever thought about the reason why you learn English?” I didn’t answer my friend’s question although I knew the "standard" answer. Actually, my teacher and parents ALWAYS tell me English is very important for my future carrier. However, I think this is their answer, not mine. To tell the truth, why should I choose a job which is related to English? Maybe my teacher and parents are right.(if I choose a job which needs to use English) But in the same time, I'm still wondering if this is the only answer. Could anyone give me some advices please? I’m so confused.:-? Thanks.
 
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Ouisch

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Re: Reson for learning English?

This is a question which only you can answer. Learning a second (or third or fourth...) language will certainly always be useful in some way, but perhaps you don't aspire to a job that requires fluency in English. English is pretty much the official international language of trade and aviation, but not everyone ends up working at a company with international contacts/customers.

You might decide that you want to learn English so that you can better understand some of your favorite international movies or TV shows. There are a lot of folks who learn a second language just because it's interesting. I studied both French and Spanish while in high school. Several years later, I got a clerical job in the office of a small steel company. One of the company's customers was Volkswagen of Mexico, and when VW representatives would call our office and I answered the phone, I'd chat a little bit in my limited Spanish with them before transferring the call. Surprisingly, many of the VW executives complimented my boss on hiring a bi-lingual speaker (I was hardly fluent in Spanish, but apparently I was one of the few suppliers they dealt with who spoke a bit of their language. --This was in the mid-1980s, before there was a major influx of Spanish-speakers into the Midwest.--) So, anyway, by virtue of my limited knowledge of a second language I was promoted to a sales position and eventually took many company-sponsored trips to Puebla, Mexico, to meet with our customers.

I guess the point of my long story is that sometimes knowing a second language will have unexpected benefits. :)
 

moov18

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Re: Reson for learning English?

This is a question which only you can answer. Learning a second (or third or fourth...) language will certainly always be useful in some way, but perhaps you don't aspire to a job that requires fluency in English. English is pretty much the official international language of trade and aviation, but not everyone ends up working at a company with international contacts/customers.

You might decide that you want to learn English so that you can better understand some of your favorite international movies or TV shows. There are a lot of folks who learn a second language just because it's interesting. I studied both French and Spanish while in high school. Several years later, I got a clerical job in the office of a small steel company. One of the company's customers was Volkswagen of Mexico, and when VW representatives would call our office and I answered the phone, I'd chat a little bit in my limited Spanish with them before transferring the call. Surprisingly, many of the VW executives complimented my boss on hiring a bi-lingual speaker (I was hardly fluent in Spanish, but apparently I was one of the few suppliers they dealt with who spoke a bit of their language. --This was in the mid-1980s, before there was a major influx of Spanish-speakers into the Midwest.--) So, anyway, by virtue of my limited knowledge of a second language I was promoted to a sales position and eventually took many company-sponsored trips to Puebla, Mexico, to meet with our customers.

I guess the point of my long story is that sometimes knowing a second language will have unexpected benefits. :)



Thanks for sharing your story. It’s really helpful. I guess the reason why I haven’t thought learning a second language will be helpful in the future is the environment.I live in a place where people generally use Chinese to communicate. Therefore, I think knowing Chinese is enough for me now. But I’ll still keep thinking about the answer. Thanks again.:)
 

happys82

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May be now you don't need the second language. Believe, life isn't so easy as we think. Imagine, if you had to live in another country where nobody could help you, you would earn a living with your second language.
 

TheParser

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***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Good morning, Moov.

(1) You have asked a very CHALLENGING question.

(2) "Everybody" says it's important, even vital to learn English. You ask "Why?"

(3) Here are my thoughts:

(a) Maybe you are right. That is, maybe you do NOT need English. Maybe you can

have a successful career in your country without English.

(i) Here in the United States, there are some people who come here and never

really learn English well. Usually, they are older people who have no need to use it.

(b) I hear that some young people in certain countries are not choosing English as their

second language. They are selecting your language -- Chinese.

(c) If you don't need English for your job, then why learn it? Well, here are a few reasons:

(i) I assume that you are young. So I assume that you like movies. I think that you

would enjoy English-language movies more if you understood the language -- instead of

having to depend on subtitles or dubbing.

(ii) Are you interested in world events? Some people (not all, of course) feel that

the English-language media (newspapers, radio, TV, the Internet) will give you more

truthful reports.

(iii) Are you interested in visiting other countries? Well, English seems to be the

international language. If you speak English, you might be able to communicate better

with more people in more countries.

(4) The bottom line, as we say in the United States, is:

Do what YOU feel is important to your future.

Many young people are desperate to learn English (or Spanish or Chinese) because

they feel they will need it to get a good job and make money.

If you feel that English is of no use to you, then you should not do something just

because "everybody else" is doing it. It's a personal decision that will have a big impact

on your life. I hope that you make the right decision for yourself and your family.

Have a nice day!
 

Tdol

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To tell the truth, why should I choose a job which is related to English?


There's no reason to choose such a job, but nowadays English is useful in many different areas. Can you be sure that you won't want a job in a company that does business internationally, and that includes countries where English is not the first language? Taiwan's economy has a heavy emphasis on exports, I believe, so companies in all sorts of areas will require some knowledge of English.

It isn't the only reason- some people enjoy language and find the challenge of learning one interesting, but many don't. I'd also add travelling to the list of reasons given by TheParser- you can travel without English, but it is very useful. We're living in an increasingly international and fluid world where people are moving around and having another widely-spoken language is a useful skill.

By the way, you'll probably find that your English is already good enough for general professional and social purposes, judging from your writing.
 

moov18

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There's no reason to choose such a job, but nowadays English is useful in many different areas. Can you be sure that you won't want a job in a company that does business internationally, and that includes countries where English is not the first language? Taiwan's economy has a heavy emphasis on exports, I believe, so companies in all sorts of areas will require some knowledge of English.

It isn't the only reason- some people enjoy language and find the challenge of learning one interesting, but many don't. I'd also add travelling to the list of reasons given by TheParser- you can travel without English, but it is very useful. We're living in an increasingly international and fluid world where people are moving around and having another widely-spoken language is a useful skill.

By the way, you'll probably find that your English is already good enough for general professional and social purposes, judging from your writing.


Indeed, Taiwan's economy has a heavy emphasis on exports because Taiwan is a small island which means we don’t have lots of natural resources or cheap labors like China. As a result, the economic development of Taiwan generally relies on the international trades. (I have to say a lot of the students in Taiwan devote into learning English just because of this reason. We “need” to use English.)

Yes, it’s true. In fact, I’m typing English now. If I don’t know English, how do I communicate with people(you guys) on this English forum, right? :lol:

Thanks. Your opinions are really helpful.:)
 
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Abstract Idea

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You might decide that you want to learn English so that you can better understand some of your favorite international movies or TV shows.
Although this might be a fair reason, I guess that, if this is the main goal for an English learner, he will have to be indeed very very patient. It will take him a long long time to achieve such goal.

There are a lot of folks who learn a second language just because it's interesting.
Yep! That's true! You may count me along those folks!

I’ve learned English for many years. Yesterday one of my friends asked me, “Have you ever thought about the reason why you learn English?” I didn’t answer my friend’s question although I knew the standard answer. Actually, my teacher and parents ALWAYS tell me English is very important for my future carrier. However, I think this is their answer, not mine. To tell the truth, why should I choose a job which is related to English? Maybe my teacher and parents are right.(if I choose a job which needs to use English) But in the same time, I'm still wondering if this is the only answer. Could anyone give me some advices please? I’m so confused.:-? Thanks.


My answer to this question is:

"Learn everything, you will find nothing superfluous"
Huge of Saint Victor


You may find a lot of interesting answers here:
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/general-language-discussions/104953-reasons-learning-english.html
 
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