All around the world, English is seen as a way to connect to a larger group of people living outside your hometown. If you live in Japan, you’ll encounter tourists speaking in English in order to ask for directions or locations. The same goes for Thailand, Vietnam, and so on. Even if tourists to areas with native English speakers, obviously they’ll use the English language to communicate.
Earth has around 7.5 billion inhabitants and almost 1.5 billion people speak English, which is 20% of the world’s population. Within the 1.5 billion people, 375 million of them have English as their mother tongue, while the other 375 million have it as a second language. English is widely spoken and it’s the most commonly studied foreign language in the world. A lot of countries place the language in their curriculum and it’s definitely diverse. Among these English-learners, the five most common native languages are Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole. Well, in the United States that is.
The country’s U.S. Department of Education released a report called “The Biennial Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Title III State Formula Grant Program,” which dived deeper into K-12 public schools and its English-learners. The study learned that the top native languages of the learners are Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole. And when combined, that’s 80% of the country’s population of English-learners. Despite covering the majority of the population, the English-learners in the country more languages than that as total foreign languages are actually 44.
Spanish — this consists of the 80% of the population of the English learners in the country, making it the most common language for the population of the United States
Arabic — there are 36 states in the United States and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico that include Arabic in their top five native languages for English-learners
Chinese — students with a Chinese mother tongue consists of the 2.4% of the English-learners
Vietnamese — despite a decline over the years, native Vietnamese speakers still comprise 1.9% of the English-learners population.
Haitian Creole — Before, Hmong took this spot before it declined in number. Then, it was replaced with Haitian Creole as its flocked in four states, which are Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The population of this English-learners also experienced a decline, which was 4%, but it still took the fifth spot in the list.
The study proves that English-learners are a diverse population in the world. Learning the English language can help them adapt to a new environment and establish a new connection with people on a deeper level.
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