A new report from the British Council explores the contribution the English language makes to the UK’s competitiveness and the stability and prosperity of developing countries – and the impact it has on the lives of people around the world. The report also warns of the loss of economic, social and cultural value to the UK from under-investment.
Key points from The English Effect include:
- English now belongs to the world, with non-native speakers far outnumbering native speakers
- English gives the UK a competitive edge in areas ranging from culture and media to commerce and soft power
- English boosts stability, employability and prosperity in developing and emerging economies
- The UK needs to do more to respond to the global demand for English – including attracting our brightest and best young people into English teaching
- The UK also needs to beware of relying too heavily on English – as foreign language skills are still essential for the UK to compete in a global economy.
Mark Robson, Director of English and Exams at the British Council, said: "The English language is perhaps the United Kingdom's greatest and yet least-recognised international asset. It is a cornerstone of our identity and it keeps us in the mind of hundreds of millions of people around the world, even when they are not talking to us."