The English language
English language industry
many people speak English?
- English has
official or special status in at least seventy five countries with
a total population of over two billion
- English is
spoken as a first language by around 375 million and as a second language
by around 375 million speakers in the world*
- speakers of
English as a second language probably outnumber those who speak it
as a first language
- around 750 million
people are believed to speak English as a foreign language
- one out of
four of the world's population speak English to some level of competence;
demand from the other three-quarters is increasing.
Crystal-The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
Cambridge University Press, 1995
Crystal- English as a global language
Cambridge University Press, 1997
Graddol- The Future of English?
London, British Council, 1997
do people use English for?
- English is
the main language of books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control,
international business and academic conferences, science, technology,
diplomacy, sport, international competitions, pop music and advertising
- over two-thirds
of the world's scientists read in English
- three quarters
of the world's mail is written in English
- eighty per cent
of the world's electronically stored information is in English
- of the estimated 200 million users of the Internet, some thirty-six
per cent communicate in English.
many people are learning English?
- by the year
2000 it was estimated that over one billion people will be learning
- at any one
time there are 130,000 students learning English and other skills
through the medium of English in British Council teaching centres
many people come to the UK to learn English?
- around 700,000
people come to learn English in the UK each year.
economic benefits does English bring to the UK?
- British English
language products are worth over 800 million pounds a year to the
- the total expenditure
of the 700,000 visitors to the UK annually to learn English is over
700 million pounds - possibly over one billion pounds*
- the English
language makes it possible for British companies to develop markets,
sell into them and form commercial alliances; it brings direct benefits
through the supply of English teaching goods and services.
The Value of Education and Training Exports to the UK Economy
Department of Education and Employment, 1998
other benefits does English have for the UK?
- tourists are
encouraged to visit the UK
are encouraged to invest and build partnerships with the UK
- people are encouraged
to watch British films, read books by British authors, and listen
to British radio and popular music.
many people speak/use English in X country?
- there are no
firm statistics for this for the world in general for several reasons:
- what do
you mean by 'speak English'?
- how much
- to what
level - is the taxi driver at the airport who says '20 dollars
to hotel' an English speaker?
- there is no reliable method of gathering the statistics
- there are statistics
for a restricted list of countries in which 'English has held, or
continues to hold a special place' and these are available in David
Crystal's 'Encyclopedia of the English Language'(p109)
- nearly one in
two European Union citizens claim to be able to converse in English*
according to a survey carried out in 1998, and 69 per cent of survey
respondents who did not speak English as their first language felt
that it was the most important language for them to learn or use.
50 *This includes the 16 per cent of EU citizens who speak English
as their first language.
many people are learning English in X country?
- for children,
the answer is often all children of secondary school age, so contact
the Ministry of Education in X country, obtain the statistics and
you have an answer
- for primary
schools we have collated availble information in our
Worldwide survey Primary ELT, 1999-2000
If you want
to know the contact details for a ministry of education, contact
the British Council office in that
- for older people,
the problem again comes down to gathering the statistics; people will
be a mixture of those who learn English by self access, those who
study in state institutions, those who study in a private centre that
is affiliated to a national body and those who study in a non affiliated
you help me with my MA research?
- normally we
would expect you to ask your supervisor for advice but if you think
we may have specialist information that you cannot obtain elsewhere,
we will try and help.
you send me some brochures/teaching materials about the UK?
websites may be able to help:
www.visitbritain.com (British Tourist Authority)
English Language Industry
can the British Council help me market my language school?
- The British
Council actively promotes English
in Britain Accredited course providers
- If you are an
EiBA institution, you will be aware that the Council already promotes
and supports accredited institutions by various means, including direct
placement, links from our website, the Global Education and Training
Information Service and the EducationUK
you are accredited or not, as a course provider you might benefit from
our web-based publication What you need to know about marketing English language courses by Richard Batchelor, which is available on-line to all
UK ELT course providers.
will need Adobe Acrobat to read this publication, you can use this link to download the software).
can the British Council help me market my book/CD-ROM/website?
We recommend that if you have materials to promote,
you promote them through specialist bookshops, distributors
or direct mailings to UK course providers. If you wish to promote your
materials to the British Council's worldwide teaching network, you should
contact individual teaching centres as no decisions about materials
are made centrally. However, if you have a new publication that
you wish to have reviewed in the British Council's teaching network
publication Network News, contact Ana
Ferreira. Don't forget that reviews can be bad as well as good!
thinking of opening a language school, can you help?
suggest you start by reading the books listed below (there are of course
other excellent books too numerous to be listed here).
In English Language Teaching-White, R et al.
ISBN 0521377633 CUP 1991
Introduction to areas of management such as financial aspects of running
a school, marketing and promotion; case studies based on real teaching
- The ELT
Manager's Handbook- Impey, G & Underhill, N
ISBN 0435240900 Heinemann 1994
Practical advice on managing a successful language school.
British Council promotes English in Britain Accredited organisations;
if you do not fall in this category, see above.
Also, you should be aiming to gain accreditation as this will increase
your promotional opportunities and the backwash effect of preparing
for accreditation will have beneficial effects on the effectiveness
of your school. Contact Accreditation
Unit and ask for an accreditation information pack (UK only).
the British Council help me recruit teachers for my school?
any queries relating to recruitment, we suggest that you try contacting
the following organisations:
English Worldwide Ltd
124 New Bond St
London W1S 1DX, UK
Telephone +44 (0)20 7491 1911
Fax +44 (0)20 7493 3657
Canada House, 272 Field End Road, Eastcote
Middlesex HA4 9NA, UK
Telephone +44 (0)20 8582 0317
Fax +44 (0)20 8429 4838
also suggest that you advertise in the specialist press, such as The
English Language Gazette (email@example.com)
and Tuesday's Education Guardian.
The Web is an additional tool in teachers' recruitment: try the Digital
Education Network's ELT Job Centre at www.jobs.edunet.com
and, for IATEFL members, the IATEFL
jobshop at www.jobs.edunet.com/iatefl
you send me a list of agents who send groups of language students to
of agents may be available from individual British
Council offices.Any listings of educational agents that we do have
have been incorporated into the GETIS Profiles that form part
of the Global Education and
Training Information Service; these profiles are available free
to subscribers or to non-subscribers for £25.00.
is the best language school for me to learn English in/send my children
- we strongly
recommend that you choose a course at an organization that is accredited
by the English in Britain Accreditation
scheme (there are over 370 of these); this will ensure that the
course you choose is of the very highest standard
- we also suggest
that you collect a number of prospectuses and study them carefully
before you make your decision
- for a list of
accredited organizations, please go to the Accreditation
pages of this site
- to help you
search for a course you can also visit the Education UK website
- your local British
Council office will be happy to provide further advice
book should I use?
Do you know a good dictionary?
I need some materials to help me teach/learn English...
you need information about English language learning/teaching materials,
your best option is to contact a specialist supplier of ELT materials.
Three websites offering a full range of ELT materials are:
need a copy of Volume 7 Number 4 of The Journal of...
best course of action is to contact the publisher of the journal or
an academic library. The British Council Information Centres do not
hold back copies of journals, however we are associated with three publications.
For information about these or information about back copies, contact
- ELT Review
- Publisher: Prentice Hall
(Note: This is the successor to ELT Documents. If you have
an enquiry about ELT Documents, you should contact Prentice
Language Teaching Journal - Publisher: Oxford
Teaching - Publisher: Cambridge
can I get an ELT job with the Council?
see our current vacancies list.
do I get qualified?
What qualification should I take?
Where can I take an TEFL qualification?
Where can I find an EFL job?
My son/daughter is thinking of taking a job with X company and I wondered...
- for advice on
these and other EFL career-related questions, see How
to become a teacher of English as a foreign language / Employment
- if you are still
in higher education, or are recently graduated you may be interested
in spending a year as a Language Assistant abroad with The Central
Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges
can I find free teaching materials and teaching ideas?
Visit our new website TeachingEnglish at www.teachingenglish.org.uk
which provides articles on different aspects of teaching and practical
activities to download and use in class.
language teaching software/training is available?
sources of CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) software and resources:
2 Nicholas Gardens
London W5 5HY, UK
Telephone +44 (0)20 8567 6941
Fax +44 (0)20 8840 6534
10 Wheatfield Close
Berkshire SL6 3PS, UK
Telephone +44 (0)1628 825 206
Fax +44 (0)1628 820 431 as telephone switches automatically
|Specialist ELT booksellers supplying
|English Book Centre, Oxford
|Bournemouth English Book Centre
|IATEFL Computer SIG
|CTI Centre for Modern Languages
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