What if a language could change the livelihood of a whole country?
When we look at an economy, we usually pay attention to investments, jobs or products, but very scarcely do we look at languages being spoken there.
The education gap between students of high- and low-income families starts in their first year of education, and only widens as they grow older. This case is even more apparent between countries that do not put any effort toward including the teaching of ESL in their curriculum, and countries which include it as a mandatory subject.
The GDP of a country is determined by the market value of all goods and services produced by a nation in a year. The correlation between a nation’s proficiency in English and their GDP has been widely tested by economists year after year. Having a common language for business, such as English, is the main tool that citizens will have to compete and communicate with the world.
The Harvard Business Review conducted a study called: “Better English and Income Go Hand in Hand” (HBR, 2013), and in it we observe that countries that tried to incorporate the teaching of English saw an increase in overall international investment revenue. The salary impact had an average increase of 30-50% per person, and the living conditions and life expectancy were widely impacted.
The improvement in conditions is not only for the country but affects every individual in their personal life.
In retrospect, why should global business leaders care about people learning English in their part of the world? Think of it as an upper-hand advantage to other countries, an ‘in’ into a competitive, but lucrative global marketplace. Not only that, but it also presents an opportunity to really bring the world together into unison.
At ILAC we are happy to be a part of the change we want to see in the world, and to help boost worldwide economies in a positive way!
McCormick, C. (2013) “Countries with Better English Have Better Economies”, Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2013/11/countries-with-better-english-have-better-economies Accessed April 2nd, 2019.