The British Council - DG's Tour

English language

Photo: One of a group of Omani students learning English in the UK

The English language is one of Britain's greatest assets. The Council's objective is to extend the use, and improve the teaching of, English worldwide. This provides immense opportunities for Britain overseas. The English language teaching industry is worth over 700 million a year in visible and invisible exports to Britain.

There are some 350 million speakers of English as a first language. Another 350 million use it regularly as a second language and over 100 million people speak it fluently as a foreign language.

In 1995, HRH The Prince of Wales launched English 2000. This five-year project, initiated by the Council, will forecast future uses of English worldwide, develop new means of teaching and learning English and promote 'British' English language goods and services.

English is set to become a global language. This brings wide political and economic benefits to Britain.

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